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■ ffllS IflfCCIC^ there are a lot of wonderful pieces on 
the subject of "Achievements." it's a subject that we feel eMet^^ 
day working at The Beat. 

At eirery workshop we conduct, we recognize achievements 
that even those who are achieving may not recognize. A young 
man who's been locked up seiren times before writes, "1 want to 
change my thinking. 1 want to stop hurting my mother." That 
desire to change is itself a change, and change is an achievement 
that can only lead to other achievements, the kind that will 
turn a mother's tears to pride, in the same unit, a boy writes, 
"Until i got here, i nearer read a book. Now I've read five!" That's 
the kind of achievement that can only inspire him to read other 
books, to have his mind opened to new knowledge, to ideas he 
neirer knew existed, to a mind he neirer knew he possessed! 

Another writer in a different county begins to question 
what he's been taught to believe, beginning with the lies his 
government has told (about war, about equal rights, about 
freedom) and ends with questions about what his homies have 
taught him, what the streets are teaching him. Questions are 
the beginning of lAfisdom, and merely asking them — even lAfhen 
the answers may not be so easily found — is an achievement 
which cannot be overestimated. 

For some, just putting down three sentences together is a 
first-time accomplishment, an achievement of that first step in 
a long journey that must begin with a first step, in fact, when 
a youngster tells us, "i can't write," but picks up the pencil 
anyway and tries, we marvel at that achievement. (Just as 
when someone tells us, "i don't like to write," and sits through 
the workshop without writing a word, we know he will achieve 
little, until he is willing to do what he does not like doing, 
whether it's writing or listening to his mother.) 

Others with special abilities that often make us wide- 
eyed lAfith envy ivrite aiwe-inspiring pieces, near masterpieces 
of thought and self-expression that are accomplishments 
beyond measure. Today, we read a piece, a long and extremely 
thoughtful piece, by a future leader who wrote, "... we have to 
push, push harder, and understand that we are worth it." Oh, 
yes, indeed we (all of us) are worth it. The inspiration that led 
to writing his Piece Of the Week inspires us, which, like the 
ripples in a pond, move out from the center, inspiring others. 
How can you measure an achievement of such significance? 

Some achievements push you forward to new ones: getting 
your GED yirhUe locked up makes you see yirhat you are capable 
of, and, pushes you toward fulfilling that capacity. Writing a 
poem that you read aloud — and after reading, people applaud 
you! What a feeling of accomplishment that is! 

Some, discouraged by being locked in a box away from 
those they love, rely on past achievements to get them through 
the day — remembering how they performed on the football 
field, for example, and how good it felt to achieve. 

Some achievements seem small, but how do we know what 
is small and what is large? Just trying is an achievement, even 
if yire fail to achieve our goal. Failing to achieve yirhat yire try 
is not failure at all, but failure to try is a guaranteed failure to 
achieve, and that is the biggest failure of all. 

We cannot imagine how we might deal with some of the 
incredible adversity many of you have been dealing lAfith all 
your lives. And, in truth, many of you have given up, have 
made the decision that nothing will ever change, so you've 
stopped trying. But the rest of you — especially you who fall, 
who fail, but who get up again and again and face another 
day with determination to stand, to walk, to go forward — 
you continue to achieve, and achieve again. And even in your 
"failures," you inspire others to try. 

When we look around the office, we see so many young 
people who have had to overcome so many obstacles in their 
lives, and have so many more partially blocking the path in 
front of them. Yet, they manage to get up, find a way to get to 
the office, do the daily work that allows us to put this magazine 
together, and then go home to families or to significant others 
or to no one. They make very little money, but they work every 
day. Why? We believe it's because the feeling they ACHIEVE 
each time day they succeed has a value that's greater than 

Outside the halls, there are other achievements, including 
many which go unnoticed. Last week, for example, a small item 
appeared in the newspaper about a math teacher at California 
State University East Bay (Hayward). At that level, professors 
are required to sign an oath of loyalty to the country, promising 
to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and 

domestic." But she is a Quaker, a religion that does not 
believe in the use of violence. So, she wrote the word, 
"nonviolently" in front of the word, "defend." The University 
told her to sign the oath as written (they were not concerned 
with the truth of her signature; they only wanted her to sign), 
and they warned that they would fire her if she didn't sign. 
Quietly, she refused. She stood by her principles... and lost her 
job. Like Jesus, Gandhi, Rosa Partis and Martin Luther King, 
Jr., she was willing to accept the consequences of her actions, 
standing up for what she believed. She lost her job, but in so 
doing, her achievement was huge; the university's failure to 
achieve was equally huge. 

Perhaps that is the biggest achievement of all — to take 
personal responsibility for our actions, and to accept the 
consequences. When we read (as we do each week) that "the 
system is playing me," we know that the writer has not yet 
taken responsibility. Or, when a boy writes that he is about 
to become a father, but his focus is getting back to the "spot" 
lAfith his "boys," inre knomf he's still lAfaiting for the achievement 
of adulthood — which is just another word for taking 
responsibility. When a girl says she wants to be a role model 
for her young siblings, but she's "doiAfn for her block," lAfe knoiAf 
she is not ready for that wonderful achievement of guiding her 
younger brothers and sisters toward a better path — and that 
they are likely to folloiAf her "role model" right into the hall as 
they grow. 

A man lAfe knoiAf once told his son: "Whatever you iwant 
to do in life, consider the consequences, if you are willing to 
accept them, then go after what you want, if you are not willing 
to accept them, you are not ready to go after what you want." 
To live by that principle — that would be an achievement! 

Every time you sit down in a Beat workshop and put pencil 
to paper, you are achieving something. And your achievements 
put together become our achievement, which is The Beat Within 
itself. Every single yireeU, we ask you to dig doinrn and expose 
yourselves to us and to all who read what you write, and each 
week, enough of you dig deep enough that we discover gold. 
Week after week, year after year. Gold! What an incredible 

This week's topics were presented in our workshops as 
follows... "Achievements" - The dictionary defines "achieve" 
as to succeed in doing or gaining something, usually with 
effort. iCnowing this, having to achieve something that no one 
thought you could do is an awesome feeling, or taking on and 
succeeding on a project that calls for a lot of hard work and 
time is very satisfying. Most of us, already, have been achieving 
plenty in our young lives, dating back to the time you learn 
how to tie your shoes and dress your self, to learning how to 
read, to learning how to play board games, to graduating from 
middle school, to making the varsity football team, etc. This 
week we want to read your list of achievements. This week 
we want to hear the most difficult achievement you have had 
to encounter. We also want to read about what you are most 
proud of that you achieved. Lastly, tell us what you plan to 
achieve in your life and how you are going to do it! 

Our second timely topic, "Voting For President" - Some day 
a number of you will get the chance to vote in local and national 
elections. Definitely, one time every single one of you yirere 
eligible to vote, before you found yourself in juvenile hall, in 
the end we hope at least half of you will use your right to vote 
when the opportunity is there. OiC, this week we want to read 
your thoughts on the current crop of presidential hopefuls - 
Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney- and 
why you would vote for him, her or none, because... We want 
to know what the appeal is and what you hope this powerful 
politician will do for our country if he/she gets elected into 
office. We want to know what you know if anything about this 
presidential hopeful that you like. What have you heard? Tell 
us lAfhat you knoiAf and lAfhy you think he or she lAfill be the best 
president in the United States. 

Last but not least, "if Everyone Could Vote..." - it's election 
time, so we were wondering if the country would be different if 
everyone could vote? Do you think the laws would be different 
if convicted felons could vote? How so? How do you think 
non-U.S. citizens being able to vote would affect the rights 
of immigrants? All in all, mrhat lAfould be the same and mrhat 
would be different if everyone living in the Unites States of 
America could vote? 

Thanks for paying attention to the editorial note, ed. note 
readers, this issue goes out to you readers, and to those yet to 
recognize the ability to achieve great things, big or small. 

mam ffff/rr/frs 

The Beat Within, a weekly newslettei 
incarcerated youth, is publislied by Pacific News S 

it Tlie Beat Witliin, we go tlirougli a Ic 
exual remarks, foul language, and gang r 
ur commuities already-we don't aim to h 
romote peace and unity. Our goal is to ec 

jouble to censor 

is in The Bea 

shes the opinions and views expressed by the participants 
is is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you 
y reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights 

in our workshops. 

are reserved. Nothing 
ten permission. 

To our writers: What you write could be hazardous to you. Your words havt 
consequences, and could be used to incriminate you. Try to illuminate youi 
feelings and viewpoints without running the risk of providing ammunition foi 
those who might use your words against you. 

Co-founders: Sandy Close and David Inocencio 

Senior Editors: 

Assistant Editors: Michael Krol 

Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Jill Wolfson, Allan Tinker, Amanda Abies, Dennis Mor- 
ton, Sheerly Avni, Brittany Bernard, Perry Jones, Brenda D. Navarro, Samantha 
Navarro, Annie Wong, Victor Peterson, Elizabeth Crawford, Morghan Velez 
Young, Siliva Mortenson, Michaela Levin, Griffin Jones, Eric Lee, Andrew 
Barba, Estella Cisneros, Allen Huang, Nic Reiner, Angelica Zabanal, Charles 
Labanowski, Kolby Hanson, Chelsea Sprick, Akima Edwards, Alfred Dersidan, 
Karla Serrano, Victor Peterson, Angel Ryono, Carolyn Goosen, Alissa Black- 
man, Johnny Le, Allan Martinez, Hieu Bui,and Neela Baneriee. 

The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department 
Beat Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C., 
Lisa Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Tammie Utter, Shannon Lech- 
ner, D. Scott Herrmann, Ph.D. Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County, New Mexico "The Land of Enchantment" Juvenile 
Probation Department Beat Staff: Steve Serna 

Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week. 

Spiritual Advisor: Ja( 
Special Volunteer: Nj 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous sup- 
port of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs 
- California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund, 
Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation 
of California, Compton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foun- 
dation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foun- 
dation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris 
Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children 
and Youth, Open Society Institute, Peninsula Community Foundation, Phil- 
anthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco Arts 
Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement 
and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation, 
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben 
Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexan- 
der Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding 
Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors. 

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francis- 
co, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio 
County New Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have 
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to 
become a subscriber, contact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415) 
503-4170 or check us out at: 


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Valentines VS Black Histnry Month 

Dear Beat, as you know this is the month of love but not 
only that, it is Black History Month. But the sad part is 
that most youth get blindsided by cupid and Valentine's 
Day and we tend to forget the importance of the month 
and the history behind it. 

Well, it's only right that I give you some food for 
knowledge: Black History Month originated from Negro 
History Week which was made possible by Dr. Carter G. 
Woodson. He chose the second week because it marks 
the birthdays of Fredrick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, 
two influential men in Afro-American history. But those 
are not the only things to be proud of. 

The month also represents these following events: 
the nation association for the advance of colored people 
or NAACP was founded. WEB Dubois was born. Malcom 
X was shot to death by three Black Muslim men. And the 
flfteenth amendment was passed granting Blacks the right 
to vote. These are just some of the many achievements 
and events that have taken place in America's history. 
But don't stop learning here. Check out books, go online, 
don't stop learning, all you got is time. 

-Sexy, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thank you for ivriting this piece. Even iwhen February 
is over, we hope you iceep educating Beat Readers about the history 
of our communities! By the way, did you icnow that March is Women's 
History Month! 

If Convicts Could Make A Difference 

What's up with The Beat? Chea, it's your boy Lil' Rob 
holding it down here. 

What if convicts could vote? If convicts could vote, 
we probably would have the right person in office. I don't 
know, but I would rather have a Democratic candidate 
in office, because they help the people that is poor and 
they are going to stop the unnecessary war on oil. The 
Republicans don't help the poor; they help the rich get 
richer and poor get poorer. Also, Republicans are major 
supporters on the war on oil. 

Well, Beat, that's all I got to say. 

-Lil' Rob, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Thanics for talcing this topic seriously and giving us a 
serious response. When you are 1 8, you will be eligible to register and 
to vote. Will you take advantage of that opportunity? We sure hope so, 
because we think you have what it takes to be an informed voter who 
could make a difference in our leadership. 

M]f Greatest Aciiievenients 

My greatest achievements are one, being strong willed 
and never giving into those who try to crush me both 
physically and emotionally. I'm still me and I'm still here, 
I will not break though I don't deserve to be here. I stand 
proud and strong and laugh at the futile attempts to keep 
me down. 

My other one is truly my greatest accomplishment. I 
have raised my youngest brother to be like me and to one 
day be stronger. He will live by the rules. I lived mine. 

Screw the gangs, screw drugs. He will be a man with 
honor, integrity, wisdom, courage, respect and strength. 
If I can have one wish it would be to see him, the brother 
I raised like a son, become the man I know he will be. 

-Wolverine, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Those are very strong and powerful words and nice 
words to say about your brother. We're glad to hear you really look out 
for your brother and guide him in the right direction. But right now you 
need to get out of here, and go back to the mission that you were on. 
Stop getting in trouble so you can continue to raise your brother. He 
needs all the positive influences that you can offer in his life. 


All throughout life I have been set up for failure. I have 
believed that being set up for failure and being destined 
for failure were the same thing. 

I believed that I was destined to be a drug dealer and 
a gang banger. The fact, though, is that I was set up for 
the failures I have endured. Being in here has opened my 
eyes to see differently. I have achieved very much in my 

Many of my achievements have been bad but I have 
also made achievements that have been good. I've been 
led down the wrong path and I followed on that path for 8 

One of my achievements that I will always remember 
happened when I was a youngster. When I was in 5th 
grade I woke up one morning to see two buildings hit by 
airplanes on the TV. It was 9-11-01. That day at school my 
teacher was crying and I was confused. I wrote a poem 
about 9/11 called "Tomorrow Is Another Day." This was 
my greatest achievement as a kid. 

In the future I want my achievements to be these... 1. 
Finish college, major in English and journalism. 2. Attend 
the military. 3. Write to the newspaper of my program. 4. 
Write a book. 

-Adrian, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We're very glad to hear you talk like that Adrian! You 
are a smart young man with a lot of talent and potential. You need 
to let go of all that negative thinking that you once had. it's will not 
get you anywhere in life. Gangbanging is only going to lead you to 
penitentiaries and visits to funeral homes. You can do anything that 
you put your mind to. Don't let anything stop you from achieving your 

Harsh Trutli 

I was starting to smoke like crazy 

A pattern that continued every Tuesday 

It was something about the smell 

it was hotter then hell 

It made me go on a hunt just to get an extra blunt 

People never saw what I've seen 

It made me say "ef ' the law, didn't give a "ef ', now I'm in 

juvenile hall 

The courtroom thought it was just a game 

Now I'm sitting here in pain 

all because of my choices 

Should have never listened to all them voices 

Now a little something about the D-home 

Can't even use the phone, can't even shower alone 

You start to miss the simple things 

I wish God could give me some wings 

so I can fly out of here 

And let every body hear 

that this is a bad place to end up 

All you hear is shut up 

now I tell you all from my heart 

Don't' let this place be the start 

because once you're in 

You'll never win 

Let me tell you about this place 

Everybody judges you because of your case 

They tell you when to go to sleep 

It's like you don't even own your own feet 

Don't have a choice on what you eat 

They tell you where to have a seat. 

-King Henry, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: Your words are harsh but true and to the point. The 
harsh reality of life is that you have two choices in life, and most of us 
Icnow the difference between right from wrong. Now live your life and 
change your old ways so you can follow the right path in life. 

For You Who Have Lost Hope 

People stare at me, in their eyes a murderer. 

Looking at myself, I see a teenager. 

Every day I wish when will this end. 

When people realize that I'm a friend? 

All the people who have lost hope. 

Ask yourself who you love the most. 

Your achievement is stayin' alive another day. 

So a mother's love can shine in every way. 

Reach out your hand if love is not shown 

'Cause I'll be the one who'll raise the tone. 

-Bruce, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We see more than a teen when we look at you/We see 
an open heart, a fine brain and courage, too/While you say it with a 
whisper, and not with a shout/The most precious gift you offer is the 
hand that reaches out! 

We Are Cootrolled By The Government! 

What's up Beat? I've decided that when I go to the next 
institution I'm going to write a book. Well more like an 
essay. Kind of like Henry David Thoreau. 

I'll be writing about societies of the world and our 
place in the world. In my opinion, I think our county is 
brainwashed by the government, and we are caught with 
so many delusions. The government also gets caught 
lying to us. Imagine how many lies they have gotten 
away with! We are being controlled by them and we must 
educate ourselves to realize what is going on. 

I don't know much about all this, but I believe I'm 
on the right path. So this essay is so I can reflect on my 
knowledge and understand and learn from it. 

Well, Beat, I'll see you next week. Peace! 

-Viet Tiger, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We are so impressed by what you've written, VT! 
Questioning what we are told (by the government, by our homies, even 
by our families) is the beginning of real wisdom based on real icnowiedge 
— and as rare as diamonds. You can do so much to educate yourself by 
reading, especially when you understand that it is in the interest of 
those in power to stay in power — even if that means telling us lies 
that we like to hear. We read in every issue of The Beat how the older 
homies school the younger homies to believe the same lies they have 
lived (and died) for, who accept what they're "taught" without question, 
it^ the same for those running the country, the biggest homies of all. 
Question everything you hear! And then teach us what you learn. We 
will be first in line to read the powerful essay (or book) we know you 
are capable of writing! 

Dreamino Tn Be A Prnfessinnal Dancer 

I have many achievements, but my main achievement is 
getting into SPSOTA (San Francisco School Of The Arts). 
It was and is a long and stressful process, because after 
your audition, it takes forever to get your results. The 
reason why I'm proud of that is because it is my dream 
to become a professional dancer. I do ballet, modern, tap, 
jazz, hip-hop, and I took Flamenco once. I have done Afro- 
Cuban and Stomp dance. 

Going to that school is one of the best decisions I 
made in my life that would help me in the future. Like 
(gospel singer) Yolanda Adams said, "Keep the dream 
alive. Don't let it down. There's something deep inside. 
Keep your dream inside your heart." That's a very good 
way to encourage someone, I believe. 

I have court tomorrow, and if I get released, I'll talk 
to my dance director to see if I'm kicked out of the 
department. I hope not. 

-Egypt, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You have accomplished so much, and have such important 
dreams, what was so important to you that you risked losing all that 
while also losing your freedom? We hope you are no longer here when 
this comes out, but even more, we hope that you treasure the gifts you 
have enough to keep your freedom, work hard, and achieve all your 
dreams. (We would love to see you dance, is that possible?) 

Make Me Better 

What I'm trying to achieve is still in process. My life is 
getting better, little by little. I started last year never going 
to school. I missed two years of school, was doing drugs. 
And when I say drugs, not only bud. 

I was a bad brother to my siblings, or at least in their 
eyes, but I was just too blind to see that. Never listened 
to my mother who was just trying to look out for me. 
Not coming home for months at times, and ignoring my 
mother's calls. 

Now I've improved a lot, and people tell me that a lot! 
I stay home more, always there for my siblings, and they 
love it. I'm closer to my mom than ever, and it's a good 

Anyway, but I'm still not done. My goal is to stay in 
school as long as it takes to graduate and go on in life. 
Anyways, school, I've been going daily. But this isn't over. 
The year is full of surprises. Til next time. 

-Lefty, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We hardly know how to express our appreciation and 
encouragement for everything you've written here. So many of our 
writers see the hole they've dug for themselves and use that as an 
excuse to give up. You, on the other hand, saw the hole you've dug for 
yourself and decided to dig yourself out. "Little by little" is exactly the 
way to do it, and we know you bring a big smile to your mom's face 
and the faces of your siblings who most definitely need you. You're so 
right, the year is full of surprises, and you're one of the nicest we've 
had. Thank you! 


"Osama bin Laden is more popular in Saudi Arabia today 
than George W. Bush is in America." 

"The President knew the attacks on Pearl Harbor were 
coming; he did nothing. He had to sacrifice American 
blood so he would be justified in testing out the Atom 

"Our President George Bush knew of the terrorist 
plot to bring down the two towers; yet, out of greed for 
oil money, he did nothing." 

"Our nation feeds us lies so the rich (those few at 
the top) not only maintain their positions, but get even 

"Iraq houses weapons of mass destruction," (Bush). 

"We've found the weapons of mass destruction, and 
for those who say there were none, we've found them." 
(Bush, later). 

"Still haven't found those weapons of mass destruction 
yet!" (Bush, even later). 

"It's hard to tell, sometimes, who I'm running against!" 
(Obama on how Bill is helping Hillary's campaign). 

I no longer trust the government system. All of these 
things I have heard, and more. What is worse is that I am 
so blind, that I don't even suspect such shady business. 
Of course, I don't know if what I've heard otiiers say is 
true, either. The idea, though, that the President is the 
only a figurehead, a dancing puppet — or someone who 
would think nothing of killing so many innocent people 
— is shocking. But as they say, love of money is the root 
of all evil. 

-Monk, Santa Clara 

From Thee Beat: And maybe we could add "love of power" to that evil 
root! One thing we can say for sure, however, is that you are far from 
blind! Your eyes are wide open, and your brain is working the way we 
wish all our fellow Americans' brains worked. Critical thinking — the 
ability (and desire) to analyze what you're taught and what you hear 
and see instead of merely accepting it — is a rare commodity in our 
experience, and that lack of it has tragic consequences for the world 
and ourselves. Your questioning mind (even questioning whether these 
things you've heard is true or not) gives us hope that not all are blind, 
not all are deaf, and that maybe there are still some potential leaders 
in your generation that can save us from ourselves. Whatever missteps 
led you here only prove to us the strength of those powerfully beautiful 
words in the spiritual, "Amazing Grace"i 

"i once was lost, but now am 

found; was blind, but now i see.' 

A Changed Life 

My achievements is to get out of juvenile hall and not 

try to come back here ever again: 

Finishing high school and not messing up again. 

Then getting a job that pays good money and that can be 

stable for me. 

Going to college for four years. 

Being a mechanical engineer when I grow up. 

Staying in school, not cutting, keeping my grades up. 

Learning how to drive and pass my written test before 

the summer or during the summer. 

Being with my family when I get out of juvenile hall and 

don't do anything stupid that leads me back to jail. 

Trying to get my GPA up to 2.0 and up. 

Trying not to stress and over-react every day. 

Hoping my life turn out to be an success when I get out. 

Doing my best making my family happy and not let them 

stress about me. 

Being at home and school when I'm out of juvenile hall. 

Being with my family and friends when I get out of 

juvenile hall. 

-Andy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: What you are describing — getting out of here, never 
coming bade, going to college, making your family proud of you — are 
not achievements, they are goals. But don't get us wrong, they are all 
wonderful goals, all extremely important, and we know you can achieve 
them if you take them one step at a time. We hardly ever get to read 
a piece as positive and forward-looking at this, a piece that already 
reflects a complete change of attitude, which is the most important 
ingredient to achieving these fine goals you've set for yourself. We laid 
this out like a poem because we want you (and your readers) to see 
just how many goals you've set for yourself, and just how mature and 
responsible you sound to us when we read them. Even if you fall from 
time to time in your attempt, just get back up, dust yourself off, and 
keep on moving forward. This is an inspiration. Thank you for it. 

Are We Ready? 

This year we have a chance to elect either a woman 
or a black man for president. Just the fact that we're 
talking about that and that there's a possibility to do it is 
amazing. But the huge question is whether this country 
is ready for it. 

Yeah, this country has come forward but are we 
there yet? I've talked about this with many of educated 
people and we think that there's a small chance that 
Barack Obama will be elected, and that if he is, he will 
be assassinated sometime during his years as president. 
There is still some deep-rooted racism in the south and 
some in the liberal states. Some of those people who 
claim to be separatist and believe they are not part of this 
country, will come out to vote and make sure that a black 
man would not be president. 

The fact there is consideration for that's an 
improvement and I think it may happen during my 
lifetime. I don't see it happening in 2008. Having said 
that, I haven't given up hope and did vote for him in the 

Another thought: How are we ready for a black men 
as president, when there is still a need for Black History 
Month? If we still need a month to acknowledge the 
accomplishments of Black people - and not be able to 
do it all year - then obviously we haven't moved along 
far enough. But what do I know? I'm hoping to be proved 

-The Rantings of a Lunatic, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Well Mister Lunatic, a lot of older blade people are so 
worried about Obama being shot or turned into an "Uncle Tom" that 
they are voting for Hillary instead. The most frustrating thing is 
how much anger and sexism is aimed at Hillary Clinton, it's like a big 
popularity contest - and is it really going to change the system at the 
end of the day? 

My Mind 

I've gone through days and days of pain and constant drain. 

Words don't seem to reach me. 
All alone, we know no one can see me hidden behind a 

thoughts that go for miles, can't seem to get away from 

confusion and pain. 

Why can't I just be happy and find peace inside my mind? 

Because I don't have the time to deal with all these 

things inside my mind 

that keep on killing my happiness inside. 

-Lil' Sapita, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Oh Sapita, we miss you and your introspective poems. 
Hope you are doing well at County. Write to usi 


Momma I'm sorry for the shhh I did, they shhh I done. 
I wish my brother and I could've been something 
But instead of thinking back on our life, we run the 


And instead of thinking of you, man I thought of me. 

I should have been in school trying to get that 


And man you was good to your boys, man you kept 


I ain't trying to say our whole life was filled with 


Momma, you took me and my bra' in when we was in 


The shhh I'm doing now got nothing to do with how you 

raise me, 
'Cause I'm tired hearing people say you raise me crazy. 
You put your life on hold for me and my brother I love 


I'm in a cell but that don't mean I ain't thinking of you. 

Mama I appreciate the things you did as we was kids. 

Mama I appreciate the shhh you done when we was 


Mama I appreciate. 

I appreciate everything that you did 

'Cause if it wasn't for you, I don't know what I would do. 

Mama I'm sorry for the shhh I put you through, 

I know stress on yo' hand, 'cause stress on my hand. 

If I could have made it all right. 

Then that's what I would've did, 

I wish we had a better life, but it is what it is. 

I'm on the verge of changing 

so that's what I'm gone do, 

I'm doing it for my family for my bra, my sis, me for you. 

Mama I hope you know the words I'm saying is truthful. 

Mama I know you sick and tired of this shhh 

That me and my brothers putting you through this bad 


This shhh ain't go last forever. 

And if you take my word for it, it go get better, 

I love my momma she a strong Black African American 

that been through the struggle, and pulled out with a 


To say I would want a different ma it would be a lie, 

I love my ma.... love her a lot. 

-Kevin, Alameda 

From The Beat: The beautiful thing to remember about your love for 
your Mother is that you don't need to sacrifice anything to give her 
what she needs from you. She wants you to be strong, free, to escape 
from the rough streets you've been caught up in. She wants you to live 
up to all the promise of your mind and heart - in other words, she wants 
for you the things that deep down, YOU want for you. So keep these 
promises - for her, for your brother, and mostly for you. 


Latino Family 

What's up with it, Beat? How's everything? Well, I'm just 
saying what's up and want to tell all my Latinos out there 
to stay strong and think about the bigger picture. 

We've been struggling for so long and we're hurting 
each other. Remember who you are. Mexicanos are 
Spanish, but don't forget your Indian blood either - puro 
Azteca. We were stripped for our land and used. It's time 
we come up together as one because we're being set up to 
kill each other. 

The government could care less about how many of us 
go to prison and die. We need to stop and think about the 
bigger picture instead of hurting our own blood. That's 
what they want. They want us to fall apart. Don't forget 
who you are. Don't let no one discourage you - we're 
kings and queens of this land. 

Pudo Latino! Until next time - this Mexican Puerto 
Rican Latino is gone. 

-Rican, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful piece that sends an important message 
to your community. It taices a sharp analysis and a icnowledge of history 
to looic past the violence on the streets today. Thanic you for sending a 
positive message through the pages of The Beat. 

Dreams For Baby Curl 

I got to pour my heart out. . . 

Damn I'm going deep 

Cause I don't want my baby girl to grow up in the streets 

I wanna make sure she go to school and graduate 

Ain't nothing hard about it 

I could have went that way. 

I want her to get a job and wait to have her own kids 

Live the life that she want and please wait for that shhh. 

I got dreams... no! Goals for her to accomplish 

Be a business woman, successful and leave the street 

shhh alone 

And let somebody else play that game. 

On the real. If she live bad my name gonna die in vain 

'Cause I want her to live right 

I got big dreams for her world 

'Cause I got nothing but love for my precious baby girl 

-Shady Bo, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is the real you/the highest self, the good that's true/ 
but if you want her to live good/show her how the yvay you should/you 
gave her your name but you have to be there to teach her/you're her 
father, her first love, the first who can reach her/so it^ time to give your 
old ways a push and a shove/be true to your words - show "nothing 
but love." 


If I Could Vote 

Would I vote for a woman or a black man? 

Regardless I would vote for change, 

I would vote for a better future. 

President Hilary Clinton, 

President Barack Obama. 

Wow, sounds better than Bush, d 

amn anything is better than Bush. 

How could we vote him in for 8 years? 

Well, it wasn't I who voted him in. 

It was foolish Americans who put that crook in office. 

We need a new crook, a crook that looks out for the 


my people, me, you, all of us. 

Not just the rich. If I could vote 

-Someday, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We totally agree with you. We wanna see some change 
too. We need a president that's gonna look out for all the people that 
really struggle out here in corporate America. Good insight. Do you 
think young people should be allowed to vote? 

I Am 

My name is Taco! 

Me, being in Juvenile Hall system, all they look at 
is your files. And my criminal record is nothing like the 
person I am. It hurts that I'm being treated, or looked at a 
certain way because of a crime. 

I find myself to be a really nice, caring, outspoken 
person. I'm the type of person that brings everyone 
together as one. People rarely fight or argue around me 
because of my personality. 

People say I'm goofy and my laugh is contagious! 
I'm never sad or depressed because of this situation I'm 
in, nor because of this place. I think me being a strong 
person helps the other girls, because I can talk to them 
and encourage them to stay strong. But on the outs I was 
a party person. 

I enjoyed going to school interacting with my teachers 
and staff at my school. I'm not used to being around this 
many girls, or girls my age at that, I'm used to being 
around adults, and being free to do as I please. 

I know God wouldn't put me in any living situation 
that I couldn't get out of! So I'm gone thug it out until the 
day I'm set free! 

-Taco, Alameda 

From The Beat: Taco, thank you for another thoughtful piece. We 
appreciate how honest and upfront you are, and we hope you keep 
writing. You say the girls in the unit turn to you for support — so who do 
you turn to when you need that support? And who can you turn to when 
you get back out in the world? You have so much potential, we want to 
make sure that your potential is being nurtured by caring adults! 

A New Life Achievement 

My biggest achievement is me not gang banging and 
starting a new life. I don't drink and smoke anymore, 
or cut classes. I stopped being a follower and now I'm a 

I'm a new me. Now, I'm going to start going to school 
when I get out of this juvenile hall. 

I turned my whole life around. I'm so proud of myself 
'cause my family is gonna see what I turned myself into. 
I'm finishing this house arrest and program then am going 
to get off probation because I hate being told what to do 
and when to do it. I wanna do things on my own now. I'd 
rather have my parents and family happy for me knowing 
I succeeded in life, and know their son could (and will) do 

-Mature Son, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Congratulations. Making these changes in your life and 
your outlook are the biggest achievements and will be more significant 
than any diploma or good job that you get later in life. 

Presidential Poiitics 

It's sad when you think about politics there's so much 


Man, our last president was dumba than a llama 

He sendin' our men to die over a bum named Osama 

If we could we'd all stop Bush fasta than a comma 

And you know this, you can't deny it 
Everybody preachin' peace but we need to apply it 

Who are we to try to save other countries 

When it comes to America our people goin' hungry 

Man all this hatred and criticism is killin' me 

I don't even think the world's ready for Obama or Hillary 

-D-Mani, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Poiverful and insightful words D-Mani. As we prepare 
this week's edition, the Democratic race for a nomination could very well 
conclude, with Senator Obama the current favorite. If you fear that the 
world is not ready for him, what advice would you give Barack to better 
his odds? Keep up the deep thoughts this week. 

Young Life 

Messing up as a young kid 

got me thinking of my mistakes. 

I could have stopped 

but I didn't have the brakes. 

As I was on the streets 

trying to get all I could take, 

damn the past didn't last. 

I worry my little brother 

is leaving too fast. 

I got some pain inside of me 

trying to take the best of me - 

listen to the things I been speaking, 

hoping to get a honor 

but that hope has been broken, 

in my dream 

I have vision of people killing me 

but I stay strong 'cause ain't no one dropping me. 

I miss my kid. 

I know I made mistakes in life, 

but we are humans, 

no one's perfect. 

I'm trying to get to know how to be a father, 

but in this life not even my dad bothers. 

Good thing I had, and still have, my mom, 

show the best, 

to respect the rest, 

no one is invisible, 

you don't get saved - 

not even having a bulletproof vest, 

but everyone is out there trying to be hard - 

trying to test. 

You only live once, 

so make the best. 

I don't know why I keep crazy shhh up in my dome, 

its only hard for me, 

should I let it take all of me, 

'till next time I'll let you know, 

to all in here 

keep your head up and 

don't let nobody bring you down, 

stand tall but don't let yourself fall. 

Alrato - love to my lady - she's my baby, 

got me hypnotized thinking of your lovely tits, 

you got me searching for lips. Love you. 

-Payasito, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: Wow, this is a great stream-of-consciousness type poem 
that really flows all over your mind. But you certainly have a way with 
rhymes and floiws. Thanks for sharing. 

God Talk To Me 

A Painfully True Story 

There was once a little girl 

who was lost in this crazy world. 

She meets this drug named meth, 

it took the best from her. 

She tried to find a cure, 

now you define the rest. 

She was looking through a blind eye, 

she continued to do meth. 

The meth took over, 

times passing, clocks ticking; 

I'm burning underground. 

Too stubborn to listen to parents, 

bad choices turned into meth. 

Based on a true life story. 

- Alyssa, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: Alyssa started to take us to the edge, and then you just 
stopped. Let us know more, about how and if you quit doing meth, and 
what it has done to you giving us details. We at The Beat want to hear 
more about your crazy world. 

God please talk to me I know you see how it is 

This is Oakland where kids killing kids 

Why did you take Rob away 

He only a little baby he didn't even get time to play 

God please talk to me cause I'm in a hard situation 

Don't know where I'm gone go or how much time I'm 


God why did you have to take Dab away 

He was only eighteen that ain't fair to me 

And God why did you let that happen to Jesse and Kev 

Damn my big brother you let him take one to the head 

And God why did you let Tony drown 

It took a couple days for him to be found 

God why you let Tamu put that needle in her arm 

God talk to me. 

-Young Mari, Alameda 

From The Beat: God works in mysterious ways. But where ever there^ 
good there's also evil. Kids are killing kids but you can't go and put all 
the responsibility on God. You need to have the community talk to each 
other. Why is your own people killing each other? For what, for some 
Jordans and scraper on twenty-twos? Drugs? Go ask them. Solid piece! 

No Voting Here 

Shhh, I'm hella mad Beat ,because basically coming 
in here has stopped me from voting. I have turned 18 
on January 31, 2008 the election year, shhh! I've been 
waiting for years so I could vote Bush out of office. Now 
I'm hella mad because I'm in here and can't vote. 

If I could vote it would either be Obama or Clinton. 
Basically, because Obama is about helping the troops 
and Clinton because it would be good to see a woman in 

The only reason I wouldn't vote for Clinton is she 
wants to stop producing videogames that are violent, what 
the hell? Videogames don't tell people to buy guns, why 
not try to get guns off the streets! Then take videogames 
competition out of the US. Basically, I would have to vote, 
but look where I'm at. Oh well four more years to go. 
Hopefully I will be able to vote then. 

-Btb, Alameda 

From The Beat: Well you messed up by getting in trouble. But at least 
Bush can't be reelected again because his term is up. All you can do 
now is sit back and watch the election. But you can make sure that 
you're not getting into any more trouble. Remember, once you're a 
convicted felon when you're an adult you can't vote. Four more years 
to go. So make sure you're gonna be able to vote. Stay free and become 

If Everyone Could Vote 

I think that the world be a much better place if felons 
could vote, due to the fact that they are human also. They 
just made a mistake - that does not mean they are not 
human. There are a lot of laws that would not take place 
if they were able to vote, but since there is a black man 
running for president, maybe it would inspire a lot of 
minorities to vote. I know I'm going to vote for Barack 

I'm just so proud that finally the black culture has 
stepped up tremendously. Before in the white world, we 
didn't exist, but due to MLK, jr. and Rosa Parks - we now 
have a voice for me, being black, Puerto Rican and Cuban. 
I still feed like the black community is uprising and needs 

If all the people that died for the black race were still 
alive and realized that they died for voting and standing 
up for their rights, and now there's a black man running 
for president, they would be more than happy. They 
would feel like all that they have tried to make right for 
the future and their kids has finally come. 

-Sha T, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It is a really powerful legacy that Barack Obama is 
fulfilling, and that is a wonderful reason to vote for him. It sounds like 
you truly believe in the power of voting - you should spread that energy 
to all your friends. 

Ain't No Pain Lii(e Having A Chilli 

What it do Beat Within it's ya' boy Young Cook 

Giving words like books no song no hooks 

Freestyle just write lead the pencil down the page 

Giving up the robbing part but keeping up my old ways 

Cause I got a lil' girl and one on the way 

Gotta hold it down get paid ninja I'm Shady Bo 

Having kids ain't cool unless you know what to do there 

Can't just buy 'em clothes and give 'em food and not be there 

Yo' kid gon' be scarred inside for life 

So stop banging with no rubber if you don't want the 

parent life 
It hurts so bad on some real shhh I can't take the pain 

I wanna live a good life no more and break the chain 

'Cause the tears of the heart hurt worse than the action 

Knowing you set up for jail, or in the dirt so I'm packing 

My bcirretta with no problem cause this is a messed up world 

I'll give my life and the game up so my baby girl 

Could live right with no problems on the real off back 

This shhh making me mad not being there I'm sad 

But I'm gone before I stop writing bounce up and go wild 

On the real, ain't no pain like having a child 

-Shady Bo, Alameda 

From The Beat: We wish you could tattoo this poem on your wrist so 
every time you were about to lift up your hand to do some dirt, you'd 
see it and be reminded of how much you need to feel your love to fight 
your hate. There is nothing on the streets that matters more to you than 
your feelings as a father, and this is the poem that proves it. But can 
you keep these words alive in your heart they way they come alive on 
the paper? Start by putting down the guns. 

/ ma^^e i4p mtf mind rm done 
with the crimes. It*s t/me 
to statf alive md he with 
the one i/ou love. 

Deatii Incarcerated 

I am but a pawn in your game. 

I sit in my cell bored out of my mind. 

I will not rebel. The darkness reaches the peak. I will not 


Again I'm in a haze. I will not deceive. 

Should I explode and burst into flames or should I lay 

still like I'm supposed to? 

I will not push you away. It's a question that runs 

through my mind every second of every minute of every 

hour of everyday of every month of every year of my life. 

I am sorrow. I lay still. I am unwanted. 

What is to become of my life. I am betrayed. 

As I am pulled into the shadows of the valley of death I 

greet it with open arms. I am alone. 

Take me to your shadows. I am death incarcerated. Take 

me to your valley of death. 

-Smokey, Alameda 

From The Beat: There's probably not a soul in jail who hasn't had 
dark feelings like the ones you put down in this piece... Maybe it's 
the boredom, maybe it^ the physical loss of freedom, maybe it's the 
haunting memories that creep in when the distractions of the outside 
world aren't there. But there is that saying 'The darkest hour is just 
before dawn." Do you believe that's true, that even when things are bad 
you one can find hope that things will get better, that in our own minds 
we even have the power to make decisions that will make it better? 

Tiie Real Part Two... Ai(a Tiie Truth 

What's up, Beat? Man, your boy still locked within this 
place called hell. I'm ready to get out now, but the system 
holding back. Man, it's weak to don't go back to court 'til 
the middle of February. 

To keep it real, being locked up is changing my mind. 
Being away from my wife is driving me insane. I don't got 
no shame but playing the game. Beat, I know you know it's 
time to stay out the halls, stop getting locked up. Wearing 
another men's drawe's and another man's socks... that 
shhh drive me crazy. 

If you locked up, you know how I feel. The food is 
grimy and this place is shady. I made up my mind I'm 
done with the crimes. It's time to stay alive and be with 
the one you love. 

-Lir Jao, San Francisco 

From The Beat: If you've truly made up your mind that being home with 
the woman you love is more important than doing the things that lead 
you here, then you will be finished with places like this! That would be 
a great accomplishment for yourself and for your family. Don't forget 
this promise when you get out there and are faced with all the old 
temptations! Good luck! 


7 nn 

//// // 

One More Week 

I leave next week on the 12th of February, my birthday. 
I just can't wait. When they release me I am going to an 
adult program in Oakland, so I will still be able to see my 
friends and family. I'm really ready to go, and I've been 
ready to leave. Being in here for already a month got me 
stressing and worried. 

I already have my goals written out already so I have 
a plan when I get out. Someone told me that if you don't 
have a plan/goal then you would end up back in here. I 
agree with that because it's true. I didn't have a plan and 
that's how I had got caught up. I'm going to finish my 
program so they can help me out by getting my own spot, 
getting a job that I like, and be able to stay on track so 
I wouldn't have to go back living the fast life that I was 
living before. I believe in myself, I just have to watch out 
for the bad people I knew in the past and to watch out for 
the new people that I'm going to meet, male or female. 

I just hope that my best friend is still waiting for me 
when I get out... until next time... if I don't come back... 

-Cobra, Alameda 

From The Beat: It's great hearing you sound confidant and determined. 
Your friend gave you some good advice — glad you are listening to it. 
Keep u% posted too! 

Maij Ichieiemeits Ti Be lal 


There are so many things that I want to achieve in my 
life. I mean for starters I want to get out of the hall and 
back on with my life. 

I want to get off probation because having that by 
your name is not going to get you anywhere. 

I want to get back in school, finish high school, and 
go to college and make something of myself. 

My parents always told me that I have all the potential 
in the world and I never believed them. So I went on living 
the life I was but as time went on and I got caught up with 
the system I realized that this is not the life I want to lead 
and that my parents were right—that I can do whatever I 
set my mind to. So I have taken all that hey have told me 
and put it to use. 

I hope to accomplish all the goals I have. I hope to 
grow old with my lady and live a long and fulfilling life. But 
for the most part I just want to make my parents proud. 
Because no matter how close you think your homies are 
to you they will never be as close as family. 

-Anthony, Santa Clara 

From the Beat: You bring up some very good points about family and 
living up to your potential. Now that you realize that you can achieve 
whatever you set your mind to it's time to make a plan for what 
specifically you're going to do to achieve your goals. 


Let's see my achievements. I have achieved some 
things, and I've also failed some things in life. I can't 
really remember some of my hardest achievements. But I 
certainly got goals and things I'm trying to achieve. 

I'm trying to change my life around and that, to me, is 
going to be one of my hardest goals in life. Some things 
that I'm trying to achieve right now would be getting off 
probation. But the things I've achieved would be changing 
my attitude. It still needs improvement, but I've come 

-Ramon, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We have all failed at some things (and achieved other 
things). What is most important are the achievements we set in front of 
us, the ones we need to plan for to get. It is good that you are working 
on your attitude, because that is so important to achieving all our goals. 
What is your plan for getting off probation? When you look ahead, say 
five years, what ivould you like to be doing? How ivill you get there? 



My Lawyer Is A Punk 

Times are hard 

Minds are wasting 

My hand is steady writing 

The Beat Within is pacing 

Too much, too little for too many people 

Chained by men in suits 

My dog is my equal 

Opportunities, chances 

The judge romances 

The DA is a liar 

The whole courtroom dances 

My PO keeps killin' my case like cancer 

My lawyer is a punk, I don't stand a chance 

Muthas like me is just livin' illegal 

Time keeps on slippin' 

And I'm high like a eagle 

Two milligrams a day 

Just to send my brain away 

I'm breaking doors and windows 

Catch me in a zone 

If I change who I am 

Then they'll leave me alone 

-111 Will, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There is no question that you have major skills. But are 
you using those skills to your advantage? Anyone who reads this piece 
will see that you point the finger of blame everywhere but where it 
might do the most good. It^ the judge. It's the DA. It's your lawyer. It's 
everyone but you... And yet, by the time you come to the end of this 
poem, you conclude that all of them will leave you alone if you change, 
where does that change begin, and how will it be shown in action? 


You've got too much going on to throw it all away in places like this 

I I 

M) ichieitieits 

>n? I 


My achievement in life is to get money by getting a good 
job and saving up money to get a dirt bike and stay out of 
trouble. And another achievement is that before I cam to 
jail I never read a book a day in my life, but once I came 
to jail I found out that it is important to read and get a 
education. And all the time I been in jail I done read three 
big books including a Holy Bible. 

And now I thank god for slowing me down on what I 
was doing on the streets and giving me a chance to calm 
down and realize what I was doing. Now I understand, so 
now it's time for me to get out and start all over again, 
keep going to school and get a education and have kids. 


From The Beat: Even though the first thing you listed — getting a good 
job and saving money — is not yet skn achievement (but a goal), you 
have definitely achieved some very fine goals already. Reading books 
for the first time (and realizing how much you can learn from them) is 
a major achievement. There are books on every subject in the world, 
and so you are unlimited in the amount you can learn, if you choose to. 
Understanding that your education is the key to your future is another 
major accomplishment. Now you have to reach your goal! Good luck. 


Voting is important 'cause you can get someone in the 
White House against war. I think if everyone could vote 
that the laws would be different 'cause felons would look 
at the man's opinion on crime and immigrants would vote 
on the opinions of immigration. 

-Chance, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We wish you had written more, because you show u% 
that you are thinking, and that^ already skn achievement. We agree that 
if felons and immigrants could vote, things might be different. But ivhat 
is puzzling to u% is that the majority (more than half) of the people who 
have the power and privilege to vote don't take advantage of it. What 
about you? When you are 18, do you plan to u%e your power to vote? 
We hope so. 



7 nn 


Walkino Across The School Staoe 

My achievements was when I walked across the stage 
when I was in the 5th and 8th grade. And my next 
achievement is to walk across the stage in the 12th grade, 
and to change my attitude. 'Cause of my bad attitude I 
lost somebody that I really love. They didn't die, but you 
know how relationships are. 

My biggest achievement is to pray and hope I get outta 
here on Friday, February 8th 2008. 


From The Beat: We hope by the time this Beat is done that you are 
already out of here and woricing on the goals you have set for yourself. 
Graduating from high school is one of the keys to your future success, 
but so is making sure you have an attitude that lets you move forward. 
You have what you need to succeed. Now, put it in practice... Good 

Stijiig Strug lir M) Mother 


What's up Beat? Well, I got court in March and hopefully 
I'm goin' home with my family. But I might go to the 
Walden House school in Massachusetts because my PO 
wants me to go there. 

But anyways, if the judge wants me to go to the Walden 
School, then I'm gonna stay strong like my mother always 
said to me. But I'm very sad because I always see my 
mother crying and hearing that my brother cry about me 
because he miss me and love me. All my family miss me, 
but I'm happy that I'm making a change better for my life 
and my family. I'm being strong all day. 

But Beat, keep being strong and stay up! Much love 
and respect to all of you Beats. 

-Pablo, Santa Clara 

I From The Beat: We know how it hurts to see our mothers cry because 
of u%, so we admire you for wanting to change her tears to smiles and 
pride. Even if you do have to go to Walden School so far from home, you 
stay strong for her and learn sk% much sk% you can so you never have to 
put her or yourself through this again. 

My Achievements 

The achievement I am working on is getting out of jail. 
Then I will go to a program for at least a year or two. 

I need to get help for myself. While I am there I hope 
to do that. I don't want to go to the home because I feel 
separated from everybody - away from my family and from 
Santa Cruz. 

I think that if I go into the program, in the long-run I 
will get help. There are a few things that I need to work 
on: anger management, social skills, job opportunities, 
and school. 

School is very important to me. I want to graduate 
from high school. I am sixteen now and in the tenth grade 
but I've been out of school for 5 months. I am trying 
to graduate, but if that doesn't work out I will go for my 

I talked to my social worker today. She is the one who 
told me I am going to the group home. The thing that I 
don't like is that it may be out of state. I was kind of 
worried, but I will get through it. My social worker said 
that when I am 18 I will be done with the group home 
and can come back to Santa Cruz. Here, I can get into 
transitional housing, go to Cabrillo College and live my 

-Carlos, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: it sounds like you have thought a lot about this 
and have a realistic plan. Good for you! That is the first step to all 
achievements. You know what you need help with and that it may be 
difficult. With a mature attitude like that, you are right - you will get 
through it. Remember this when you are at the group home and feeling 
discouraged. You are on the right path. If you stay on it, soon you will 
be back home, enjoying your true friends, your family, and your life. 

As President, I'd Help The People 

I would vote for myself for President, if I could. Fd make 
myself rich. I'd buy a lot of property, set everyone free 
from jail. I'd make jails be different... better food, better 
people. I'd have real food like fried chicken, turkey, ham, 
yams, and sodas to drink. I'd have the people who run the 
jail not keep the kids in their rooms all day. I'd give them 
a hour phone time every day. They get more visits, and 
less time up in here. 

I'd make the prisons better. I'd make the prisoners get 
treated better. They have more visits and more free time. 

I'd make our jobs pay more, like $13 an hour for 
housing companies, people who build houses. People who 
come from different countries, like Mexico, get treated 
the same way, and get the same money for their work. 

Homeless people, they'd have somewhere to go. I'd 
build houses for them. People who were hurt by the 
Hurricane Katrina get new houses, $2,000 each, and can 
live free for a year. 

Drug addicts get put in a drug program until they feel 

Babies get special treatment, new clothes, a better 
bed to sleep in when they're in the hospital. They get free 
milk, baby food, and their medical is free. 

Schools can have higher educated staff. Teachers get 
paid more and students get to go to school free, through 

I'd stop the wars, because that's how people get killed, 
and they can be with their family. 

For kids like myself, I'd try to help them stay out of 
trouble, get 'em better discipline. I'd stop making guns 
and don't sell 'em to people in the streets, and try to stop 
the violence. 

-Patrick, San Francisco 

From The Beat: If you can write some of this without the Beat facilitator 
writing it down for you, then you could get a Piece Of the Week 
(instead of just a Co piece). We like the way you want to help people 
instead of putting people in war. Can you see a connection between 
the government going to war in Iraq, for example, and the war we read 
about on the streets every week? Where would you get the money to 
pay for the things you'd like to do? We would definitely vote for you for 
President if you promised these things (and explained how you would 
get them). 



Living My Life IPart 1| 

Living' my life ain't easy 
You got to watch your back too much and wony about enemies 
I sometimes think about why our generation is like this 

Live by the gun die by the gun 

Too keep it real I'm gon' die by the gun. . . but that's just karma. 

I been through too much too early 

I grew up too fast, tryna get that fast money 

Nowadays I don't think too much funny 

I'm all about money if it don't make dollars it don't make cents 

I hope I don't die when I get out 

I pray every night for my mom and my sis 'cause it's 


Out there and ninjas be ruthless 

Toting Rugers that leave ninjas boneless 

Let me stop 'cause I don't do a lot of talking 

But to all my ninjas on parole keep it solid 

And my big bra in the other unit... keep yo' head up 

That's all I gotta say till next week. 

To be continued. 

-Lir Damani, Alameda 

From The Beat: Karma or not, it's not ever too late to change your mind 
about how you live. You have a mother and sister who love you, and 
you love them - and judging by the rhymes in this poem you have talent 
to burn. There are other ways to earn your money, ways that don't 
involve lockdown, bloodshed, or paying restitution. Why not step up 
and believe in yourself? 



7 nn 

//// // 



Chea, what's good with The Beat? Fm still in this thang 
waiting to get out, feel me. But I wanted to talk about 
my achievements. I ain't really accomplished none of my 
achievements yet, but that's in the making. I'm tryin' to 
get this school thang out the way, feel me and get this real 
money and stop playin' 'cause I'm 'bout to have a baby in 
a few months. 

I gotta stop playin' and get a job or do something 
constructive. A ninja can't keep coming back to jail and 
doin' stupid shhh. But on another note, I gotta get my life 
together first. But I'm out this thang. Y'all be smooth. 

-D-Swoop, San Francisco 

From The Beat: First, there is a lot in what you have written that we 
admire. Yes, you do have to get your life together. But, we hope when 
you %«y you have to "get this school thang out of the way," it means 
that you understand that the future you want for yourself and for your 
unborn baby depends on getting stn education. Unless you do that, the 
only way you can make "real money" leads right back to where you are 
this minute, or worse. 

Dear Mr. President, 

Dear Mr. President I hope you get this message to you. 

I just wanna say please do something about the poverty 

In these streets. Give youth something to do 

Instead of pistols packing some heat. 

Please don't just talk, or try to give a speech 

Do something about this problem 

We have a goal to reach 

We can work together to make things better in the 


Let's take this opportunity. 

-Jamil, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hope the president hears you - (who knows, maybe 
he'll be on Airforce One with nothing to read, and someone will slip 
him this Beat!), but more importantly, we hope you hear yourself. What 
kinds of things do YOU do when you're out, to avoid getting caught up 
in situations where you might be 'packing heat'? 

My A Level Achievement 


I have achieved to get on A level (the best level in the 
hall). It was very hard. 

How did I do it? Let me tell you how. I had to start 
doing my work in school. Stop getting the teacher mad. I 
had stop fishing. Talking through the vents. I had to stay 
of my window. Start being respectful to the staff. But at 
the end it all paid off. I got to be on detail. I got longer hot 
showers. I got extra plates and I got happiness. 

-Bravlio, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: That% all you gotta do so things can go smooth. 
Just follow directions and do the right thing. If you do bad like be 
disrespectful that's not gonna get you anywhere in life. You're only 
gonna make things harder on yourself You do positive and positive 
things will come to you. Keep up the good work and try to see if you 
can get some of your peers to lead by example. 

A Memorable Achievement 

What's up Beat? Out of all the topics to choose from, I 
liked the one on achievements. 

It's hard to think about positive things you've achieved 
when you're locked up, but one specific achievement 
popped into my mind. When I was in middle school, I 
played Pop Warner football. I played wide receiver and 
defensive end. We went the whole season undefeated - 
that meant we could go to Florida and stay at a Disney 
resort to finish the finals. I was excited as hell 'cause it 
was my first time leaving California and my first time on 
a plane. 

We ended up winning the championship and being 
undefeated. Also, we found out later we would be on TV. 
We got some big ass plaques and got to meet the mayor 
of San Jose. The shhh was sick. I also had some fun with 
some females at the resort. 

-Pacman, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is really something to be quite proud of. Why did 
you stop playing football? Do you think it would be something that 
could get you excited about life again and perhaps help you stop 
getting in trouble? 

Ain't No Pension for Tiie Dope Game 



I woke up sweating from bad dreams with the dope 

fiend spirits 

Somebody's watching me man, I sure feel it 

There's one bird on my shoulder 

And you know I wanna kill it 

Blood in my body and my enemies wanna spill it 

My land going through it, lord won't you heal it? 

My peers seem pretty sane but I feel like 'illin'.' 

Weekly I check on the business and my employees tell 

me they chillin' 

But my lil' bra tells me the drought's coming 

So soon they won't be making the killing 

This game got my folks running with no feelings. 

My little cousin is still in the dope game. 

Swearing to God he's going to make a million 

And I had a dream his cap was being peeled 

I ain't sold a stone since sixth grade 

Because my best friend squealed. 

And then a new hustle was unveiled. 

So move out the way, get paid stubs 

...and put that dope game on yield. 

-T-Rex, Alameda 

From The Beat: Great rhyme, you have what they call "transferable 
skills" in the woric force. The ability to think quickly, put words together 
in original ways, and see beyond what's happening ten feet in front of 
you. Your land is going through it - and the people who can heal it are 
bright young people like you. Next up - show u% you have a real plan for 
getting those pay stubs. Not just in words, but in action. 



7 nn 

//// // 

Kick The Shut Doors Dowo 

I think it's time for me to kick the 
door down. I thing it's time to stay 
going down the good life road. No 

matter how much the bad life look 
good to me. 

I think it's time for me to prove every 

body that said I will never make it to 

be anything wrong. Instead of proving 

them right. 

It seems like I always talk about people 

how they think they know me, but they 

really don't know the real me 

I think it time for me to show them the 
real me. 

-Lil' Ols, Alameda 

From The Beat: It looks liice you've just led into your next topic for a 
poem to express your struggle, and that's a poem called 'The Real Me." 
You ready to write it? We're ready to print it! 


I DDi't Know WtD I ll 



Who am I? Shhh, I don't even know been searching all 
my life and still don't know which way to go. 

The judge and people in the courts think I ain't 
nothing but a hoe, but I'm just a lost soul in the cold. 

Daddy please don't go, I need your love to help me 
grow. Mama please don't leave, your love is all I receive. 
That's why I'm in the cold looking for a soul cause no one 
wants to be alone. 

Who am I? Still don't know. Hopefully I find out before 
I'm gone. 

-Daddy's Lil' Princess, Alameda 

From The Beat: This is a beautiful and heartbreaking piece. We are all 
afraid of being alone, and we are all searching for something.... If your 
parents can't be there for you, is there someone else you can turn to? 

Voting tor Presileit 


Romney - dropped out of the race because he couldn't 
hang with his homies. 

McCain - got tortured by the VC, damn shame, now he's 
got a chip on his shoulder and he'll never be the same. 

Clinton - you need to take a look into prisons like San 
Quentin and take a look at the people you don't give a 
shhh about and start thinking. 

And Barack - You need to start acting yourself and stop 
acting like someone you're not! 

-Politician, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: There are few things more frustrating than to hear 
politicians making promises they will never iceep. Senator McCain wants 
to fix the economy, but offers no way to pay for it. Senator Clinton 
claims that the presidency is about fighting for those who feel ignored 
and invisible to society, but her husband^ administration pushed 
for questionable capital offense legislation. And Senator Obama has 
promised much, but has a limited national track record. Tell these 
candidates what you are looking for in the next president. Maybe they 
will listen more and promise less. 

The Streets Can Be Trouble 

The streets sometimes is fun, but sometimes you can get 
killed. Most of the time you're chillin' with your homies, 
but at the same time you can stay in trouble, 'cause your 
homies are gonna jump somebody and the police go' 
come and you gonna get caught up and you're gonna go 
to jail for doin' nothin', and then you gonna miss a lot of 
time. You gonna get on probation, you gonna get caught 
again. If you tryna sell drugs, like crystal, cocaine, weed, 
ecstasy, you gonna be in there for six months or three 
months, then you gonna get out and get caught, and that 
shhh ain't fun. 

Actually, it is fun, but sometimes if you' selling drugs, 
people gonna die from doin' too much drugs. The people 
can't even think about that—that shhh is hard for the 
people living in the street. Some people live in cardboard 
boxes. I see people sleepin' dirty, musty, ugly, shady, 
'cause they don't got money, 'cause the people livin' in 
the streets--if they have money, they're not gonna buy 
clothes, shoes, they're gonna buy drugs. They ask people 
walking by to go buy McDonald's (for them) all the time. 

Most of the people die in the street because they're 
doin' too much drugs. The black mans, the white mans, is 
living in the street — is really hard for the people sleepin' 
in the streets. This is for all of the dopeflends livin' in the 

-Street Fiend, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You have really observed the pain and desperation of 
some people in the streets and have a good heart for them. From what 
you know from your experience with the homeless and those who are 
addicted, what would you recommend to help them? What has been 
your role on the block, in your streets? What do you intend to do, when 
you get home, to keep yourself out of the streets and/or help those who 
seem to be stuck there, at least for now? 


My Turn to Stop 

To my mom I'm sorry for all the pain I put you through 

I go dumb but mom I'm through I sit in here missin' you. 

Telling you how much I miss you. I 

know I get money, that's why I dissed you. 

Cutting school to sell dope just to help you 

Get yo bills paid or just to hit the store 

Mom I've done a lot of thinking I'm tired of bein' posted 

on the block 

Servin' knocks, bustin' chops & glocks, runnin' from 

Mom I think it's my turn to stop. 

-Momo, Alameda 

From The Beat: It is your turn to stop - or rather, it^ your turn to start a 
real life. Because what you've been doing so far isn't living, it's surviving. 
The life of the truest, best and realest part of is just beginning, but you 
have to make it happen by turning away from the terror that you've 
been caught up in. Can you do that? Not just for your mom but for 



7 nn 

//// // 

Fonkin' For Nothin' 


rm tired of the stress that I put myself threw 

I've been hustling since eleven but now it ain't coo' 

I'm seventeen now still feeling brand new 

I'm a paper chasing ninja holdin' it down for the crew 

One on one or squad up we gon' do what we do and 

I ain't trippin' off no ninja if he want it with me 

I'ma keep that pistol cocked posted on the street 

Rip the real, free my ninja Tony sometimes I wish I was never 

Fonkin' never hustling it feels I was fonkin' with these ninjas 

Fo' nothing 

I'm tired of telling mama these lies, I'm looking for 

Da good life hungry for a thin thick wife 

With my h£inds on the work with my eyes to Christ cind the 

devil can't stop me I ain't going down without a fight out of 

Sight I'm tired of writing ninja I'm through and don't ask 

me what it do 

You already know what it do 

-Lil' D, Alameda 

From The Beat: The devil you need to fight is the devil inside you, 
because he's whispering evil and tryin' to ride you/straight down to 
the gutter and under the ground/but if you listen hard there's another 

L sound/that's the music of you own voice/you know you make your own 
choice/Fun kin' for nothin' is devil's worlc/With dreams of a Rolls Royce/ 
But your eyes too sharp, you already see/That if you give it all up, that's 
how you'll get free. 

Who Am I? 

What's up The Beat Within! My life consists of absent 
parents, friends, family passing away and prostitution. 

My life feels like it will never get better. 

I am only 16 but can speak like I am 30 and I've been 
through a lot. Everyday I treat it like it's my last. 

Sometimes I like to lecture people 'cause I don't 
want them to be where I am—here in Juvenile Hall. Just 
wishing in life there was a stop, pause, rewind, or fast 
forward button, but I learned the hard way life is what you 
make of it. 

The messed up part about having absent parents is 
that now that I am back in jail, I cry all the time. And 
when I go to court they're never there. The worst part 
is instead of saying they don't want to come, they say 
they're coming and they don't. Anything I usually want, I 
have to get on my own. I am not proud of it or anything I 
do, but I get what I want so it blinds me from my real life. I 
try to hide my pain in other peoples' happiness but when 
I lay down and go to sleep I know who I am— just a girl 
who does stuff for money to live. So my life is just sad all 

I can't seem to forget about anything but me when I 
lay down. I just think about my fiance. Will, baby I love 

-Princess, Alameda 

From The Beat: We are so sorry that your parents aren't there for you, 
princess.. ..but sk% you icnow, you are surviving without them. You are 
smart and strong, and we icnow you are capable of great things. What 
do you dream of for the future? 

fverif little vote 
comts, I don't care 
what people sat/. 


I I 

We Ire Ite liture 


If everyone could vote, including convicted felons, our 
country would be different, because everyone would be 
satisfied. Yeah they have committed crimes. But that 
doesn't give them a right to not put his or her opinion 
out there. 

To me, that's like saying if Bill Clinton convicted a 
crime, he couldn't vote. He knows what's good because 
he'd been there, done that already and couldn't put out 
his opinion. Every little vote counts, I don't care what 
people say. It's just like basketball, every little play 
counts. And I think the age limit should come from 18 
to 16 because young people are the future. If we are the 
future, we should be able to make votes for our future. 

-Dj, Alameda 

From The Beat: You make great points all the way through here, and 
yes, if votes didn't count, there wouldn't be such a long history of the 
government trying to keep minorities from doing it! As for the youth 
being the future, that's true, you are our hope. But then tell us, why 
are there so many young people who seem willing to just throw their 
futures away? 

loe late To II) 


I don't for that many achievements but the one that I 
do got is when I was a young teen I got in this summer 
program that taught kids how to be airplane pilots. During 
the day we took lessons and on certain days we would go 

We would go to the Oakland Airport and we would 
use these 4 person single engine planes. There would 
be a flying instructor would take off for us and when we 
were in the air he would let us fiy. Flying is not that hard, 
it is almost like driving a car. We would fiy around and 
land somewhere in Napa, and the students would switch 
seats and fiy around. Then we would fiy back to Oakland 
Airport. I stop going 'cause I moved out of my auntie's 
house and never got my certificate to this day. 

I still wish I would have stayed and got my 

-Jeremiah, Alameda 

From The Beat: We called this piece "too late to fly" because, of course, 
it% never too late to fly, right? You could actually decide you want to get 
a pilot's license, and apply to aviation school. Or you could join the Air 
Force ... there are lots of ways to get back to this thing that you liked 
so much. Do you plan to try? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^/// // 


Greatest Achievement 

^' f 

What's up Beat this your boy Lil' Five. My greatest 
achievement that I made was when I first got out of jail. 
I felt great because it made me think that I don't never 
want to come back to jail. I know that that was a great 
achievement because jail is not for me. Because jail can 
get you killed or you can be institutionalized. So I know 
that I will never come back to jail. 

-Lil' Five 

From The Beat: That's a pretty good achievement but what achievement 
do you thinic would be better, staying out of jail, or getting out of jail? 
You decide. Anybody can get out of jail, the tricic is staying out of jail. 
What are your plans so you won't have to come back to jail. 

Sick Of This Place 


What's up Beat, this yo boy T. I am sitting here thinking 
about when the fudge I am about to go home? Until then 
I'll see you next Tuesday. 

Oh yeah I wish there was an earthquake so I could 
run out of the walls and never come back ever ever ever 
ever ever ever come back to this shhh hole place again. 


From The Beat: Why do you wish there was skn earthquake so you can 
get out. Why don't you shake up all the feelings and negative decision 
making out of your body so you won't have to come back. Don't count 
on somebody else for you to get out, not even Mother Nature. You will 
be out someday and it will be the choices that you make that will either 
keep you out of jail or bring you right back, it's your choice. 

Rain Turns Intn Fire 

I'm hot on the track, I'm hot on the track 

Just got cut thinking I'm fresh 

But I look at my shhh 

And I'm like what the feezy 

Man I guess he didn't know who I was 

Maybe because he bugged 

I'm Dylon, Dylon I spit rain with fire 

And like the next Jay Z I'm gonna retire 

Not I'm lying Dylon, just Dylon!!! 

I be in the hood walking through the streets 

And I'm hearing my beats 

UH UH UH Free Dylon, who Free Dylon what!!! 

Boom Boom, next thing you know I'm chilling with the 


And these two pretty girls on me 

They like Dylon-Dylon damn you fine 

Let's not waste no time 

We ate Pizza Hut 'cause they was hungry 

Then I seen my homie Chavey 

Riding in a car screaming the second Bra bra!!!! 

Free My Baby Free Me Baby!!! 

Check Check 1, 2,3,4,5, is my mic on? 

I'm leaving soon 

And I'm tired of hearing these R&B cats sounding like 

looney tunes 

Coming soon to your stores. 


From The Beat: This is a Creative piece but where does the rain turn 
into fire? You have some rhyming skill. Are you planning on doing 
anything with your talent? 


Heila Heated! 


I'm hella mad because my cousin's memorial was on 
January third, '08. He got killed on January third of '07 by 
the police. I think that the police are some punks because 
without the guns they're not shhh. The police be talking 
hella shhh even if they hella small, they know if you hit 
them, you can get shot. To me, they some punks. But 
that's how it is in this world. RIP Dilio you will always be 
in me, love you bra bra you're boy Peter also known as 

My cousin got killed because somebody said he had 
a gun and he ran when 5-0 pulled over so they shot him 
from the back. They some marks. That's how he got 

-Nacho Cheese 

From The Beat: That's messed up. We're sorry to hear about your cousin, 
it's messed up when you already have people in the streets killing each 
other. But then you have the officers of the law that are suppose to 
serve and protect the community that go around and only make things 
worse instead of helping out. How can you address this issue to the 
community, or the city itself? You need to bring police brutality to 
somebody % attention, maybe your mayor. 

Wlio I'm Scared To Lose 

First off, I would like to start off by sayin' I love you 

The person I'm scared to lose the most is my mama. 
My mom is my everything. If it wasn't for my mama, I 
wouldn't be alive today. My mama is the best thing that 
could happen to me. Her love is the best love I ever felt. 
No matter what she says or does, I will always love my 
mama. No matter what, if you reading this I love you and 
will always be your baby boy mama. 

I truly do love you forever mama. 


From The Beat: Your Mama wants you to love her, but mostly she wants 
you to love YOURSELF. Love yourself enough to protect your body, your 
freedom, and your future. Do you do that now? Or do you put those 
things in danger? 

mp ' 

I Inspiratiofl 

' Something I achieved is being able to write poetry. One 
person that inspired me was Maya Angelo. I read one 
her poems and noticed how happy and relieved. It made 
me want to start writing it makes me not want to go rob 
someone when I'm mad instead I just write and think 
about life and death. 

I Death is the cause of life. To die you have to live and 

to live you have to die. When a person dies, an innocent 
person comes in this World. When that innocent person's 
life is taken, the world cries. I don't mean people I mean 
the sky when it rain the world is crying. 


From The Beat: We're glad to hear you be inspired to achieve your goals. 

LYou have some interesting point of views. You're right death and life go 
hand in hand. But what do you mean by saying "that the world cries"? I 


My Achievement From Football to Jail 

Well let's start off by saying my first achievement was 
when I was 12 years old and I had sex for the first time. 

Another achievement was when I played football for 
O-High even though I was a freshmen I ain't start but I 
got playing time. I must have been a good player because 
they let me play or they was hella weak! But we won some 
games to make to the playoffs even though we lost in the 

I was a candidate for MVP freshman year I had 5 
interception and 20 tackles for a rookie I had the other 
team wanting me to play for them but I said "no, I'm 
straight, I aint no trader!" I was an ail-American too. 

-All American Uzzy 

From The Beat: Well those are some achievements to be proud of. What 
other achievements do you have? Do you have any long term goals 
that you vtsknnsk achieve? Do you have skn^ big dreams that you are 
chasing? Life is about goals and achieving them. What kind of goals do 
you have? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^/// " 


What's Going To Happen? ^ 

of surprised because now I know that I have 1 

I am kind of 

some where to go when I get out. 

I turn eighteen next month and I get released on that 
day. The reason why I'm here is because I ran from my 
group home. Then I went home to my mom house. 

At the end of December my mom had got evicted and 
now she stays in a shelter. 

I had nowhere to go so I just turned my self in. 

When I get out Fm going to a program for folks from 
the ages of 18-24. It sounds way better then a group home 
because Fm going to be around adults who know what 
they want and what I want to do to there. 

I might have things in common with some and I might 
not, but I know that I will be able to get along with them. 
Fm going to have my own space, finish school, be able to 
get a job. If, and when I finish the program I will be able to 
get my own place to stay. I know that I will be able to do 
it because I believe in myself and I have people who also 
believe in me too. The program is in Oakland so I will still 
be to see my family (and my boyfriend). 


From The Beat: You have another chance to make things right in this 
new program — it's a great chance! You have to stay positive. You can 
and will finish the program if you have the discipline. What challenges 
do you think you iwill face? Hoiw iwill you deal iwith them? 

Time To Step Up To The Plate 

Man I miss my ninjas hella much. My ninja Twin (Derik & 
Donavon) LiF Sean, Taco & my sister Queazy. The twins, 
Lil Sean & Taco are more than my like my brothers than 
my patnas. Fm glad that the twins, LiF Sean & my sister 
Queazy are in a group home so that they can change their 
lifestyle a little bit. 

Fm hecka mad that my bra Taco gone R.I.P. We all 
been through hecka shhh. I can't wait till we reunite and 
are back together. 

Anyway Fm about to be back out again to a group 
home so I can change my lifestyle. Fm ready to change. 
When they send me to this group home Fm about to get it 
over with. 

When I get out of my group home I about to go back 
to my school and finish high school and stay out of the 

I miss my family and they miss me. It's time to take 
control of my life, which I should have done already. It's 
'08 and it's time to step up to the plate. 

-Bra Bra 

From The Beat: We are glad to hear that you are ready to change, but 
how do your friends fit into your new plans? Will your patnas support 
the changes you are making for yourself? 

Jost Foofld Dot 

Man, I just found out LiF D got killed. He was too young, 
didn't even have a will. It's hecka scandalous, all my 
brothers die, leaving us others to wonder why. 

That's why I need to get out. To learn what life's 

RIP Carl for everything I do. RIP LiF D, a victim to 
the streets. It's crazy when I think 'bout my friend's heart 
can't beat. Man I got a lot of thoughts. Man we all from 
the streets. Guess it wasn't solid cause ninjas starting to 
chase. Man, they're knocking ninjas down. Every time I 
look around, man it's crazy. 


From The Beat: It is crazy and tragic. Do you think you can focus your 
%skAne%%, and u%e that to become a positive role model for yourself and 
for the others who may also fall victim to the wars of the streets? 





' I 

I used to talk about people I knew in jail like, man they 
got a lot of time to think. But this place is hell without 
fire if you ask me. Staring at those four walls make me go 
crazy. Talking is dead but if you listen to me speak then 
it's very much alive. 

Please believe me, jail got me appreciating going to 
school. I can't wait to get out and go do some school 
work. When I get out of jail I'm gonna be a classified nerd. 
I don't wanna see another police car. You won't catch me 
calling 911. I'm not coming back to the hall. I 

-Ra3ma ' 

From The Beat: Great to hear this ^sk^nki Is there skn adult who can be 
your mentor, to keep you focused on school and help you prepare for 
college? What^ your plan upon release? 

J I 


still lere 

Yes Beat, this the Tweety once again. I'm still here, you 
feel me. 

My co-partners got released. 

I'm hecka stressing up in here... I need to get the 
heck out of here. You know I'm going crazy. I miss my 
family and most of all my boyfriend Carlos, man you just 
don't know how I feel right now. I'm in here with 

too many females and you know how that goes, a lot of 
females together is nothing but drama. 

Anyways, like I said I need to get out. Got to go. 

-Lady Dimples 

From The Beat: You're piece confused u%. You say you hate jail, and you 
%«^ you want to leave. And yet, you end the piece with a gang call, 
which tells u% we're going to see you in jail again soon — because you 
aren't going to change. Is that really what you feel? Are you willing to i 
risk it all? I 

Out and In Again \ 

What's up Beats? This is your girl Tete. It been a minute 
since y'all heard from me 'cause you know I got free. But 
unfortunately I'm here again, in the hall. 

I miss The Beat and my people on lockdown, haha. But 
you know yo' girl gonna be back on the outs soon, you 
already know my 1st spot gonna be Sizzlers (Restaurant), 
and my second my ninja house. Love ya Beat. See y'all 
next week. 


From The Beat: What else are you going to do when you get out? What% 
your plan to stay out? 



Drama, so much drama in my life. I feel like a person with 
no life to live. I'm so discouraged right now. Everybody 
tells me, baby it will be ok, but I know that it won't. I 
just want to be free, mentally/emotionally, spiritually, 

I'm trapped with nowhere to go no one to love me, 
or show me that they care, or even to feel them there... I 
have a scar for life that no one can see, because it's within 
me. You might see it when you talk to me... it's a scar of 
defeat, to me its trial/tribulations. I have a testimony. I 
know it ain't worth money, to some it may sound funny 
but hey I can only be me, I see me being free... 'cause I am 
the smacker of the century. 

-Smacker of the Century 

From The Beat: It sounds like you've been through a lot of terrible 
things. But you are NOT defeated. You are a survivor. Once you are free 
again, can you get help from a counselor or elder who can help you heal 
and understand your wounds? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmr ^/^/ // 

No Faith 

My family thinks when I get out, Fm gonna do wrong. 
They think since this is my second time locked up, I'm 
gone do the same thing. But I'm going to be strong. I'm 
gonna show them I know what's right from wrong. They 
seem to think they know what I'm gonna do, they think 
I'm so confused that I don't know what to do. But I'm 
gonna show them. 

I'm gonna get out and go back to college 'cause I have 
the knowledge. 

I never want to come back so I gotta get back to the 
way I used to act before I lost my innocence. I was falling, 
and I couldn't get up but now I picked myself up. I'm 
gonna get back on track 'cause I have to show my family 
that I could change. I'm tired of bring locked up. 

I'm locked up in they won't let me out. Every court 
date I think they gone give me a release but instead they 
try it keep me. I'm innocent I just made some mistakes j 
that I'm not gonna face no more 'cause being locked up 
isn't the spirit. Same food, surrounded by the same group 
man I got to get out, gotta do right when I get out. 'Cause I 
ain't going out this time. I ain't coming back best believe 


From The Beat: It sounds like your family needs to see your actions 
before they are willing to hear your words. The ball is in your court, 
and it sounds like you are ready. We wish you the best in achieving 
your goals, and staying far far «w«y from jail! 


My Goals 


I'm just a natural person with goals that I got to 
accomplish. While in my heart I sense this is a bad place. 
I'm going to make a bad thing good by getting top citizen, 
student of the week every week. I just be handling my 

After this place I'm going to ROP in Nevada for 9-15 
months depends how I'm doing. But anyway, when I'm in 
ROP I'm going to try to get my high school diploma. When 
I get out of there I'm getting my license and get a car, I 
already got a job when I get out so I'm set for that. 

I'm going to be 18 when I get out and get an apartment 
and I'm gone be set. 


From The Beat: Sounds like you have a good game plan on how you're 
gonna go about accomplishing your goals. Your mind is on the right 
track. Don't let anything distract you from achieving your goals. 


What I would like to achieve is to be able to stay out of 
the hall. This is hella boring and a waste of time. I got a 
lot of better shhh that I could be doing on the outs. 


From The Beat: You're exactly right. We know you have better things 
you should be doing then wasting your time in the hall. But think about 
what you doing that^ bringing you here. Learn from your mistakes so 
you won't be wasting your time in here. 

The Billion Chinese Votes 

If everyone could vote the world would be hectic. Right 
now, today people having problem getting along. We would 
end up having a Chinese person as a president, because 
there's a billion of them. Real talk. 

-Ghost Writer 

From The Beat: You right if everyone could vote the world would be 
hectic. But what makes you think there would be a Chinese president? 
HoiAf about skn African American President, or a Latino? 

! I 

Bank Ibiii 


We should have a black man as president for at least one 
time or many more times after this. This ninja (Obama) 
looks like he's brainwashed though, like it's going to be 

I the same as the past. 
Ain't nothing going to change especially if Hillary 
Clinton win that shh gone be out of pocket. This shh is 
terrible the whole election situation. 


From The Beat: Why do you think that nothing's gonna change. Don't you 
think that anyone president is better than bush? Or do you think Bush 
is doing a decent job in looking out for his fellow American citizens? 


Whit's GdiI Beit 

It's your boy Turk. I'm hella mad because CYA taking 
hella long to come get me. This unit shhh getting hella 

But anyways this might be the last time I write in The 
Beat, so I want to thank the staff that took care of me. Mr. 
G, my ninja Pope, who was trying to help me become a 
man. Ms. T, my step mom, and big Watts. 


From The Beat: We wish you the best of luck. Do your time don't let it 
do you. We know that CYA is a hectic place but you have to stay strong 
and don't fall deeper into the system^ trap. Everyday think of ways 
improve and better your self. 


I Driving 

My first time driving was an interesting experience. 
Nobody really taught me how to drive, I just learned on 
my own by watching people. When I first got behind the 
wheel it was cool. I was doing good for the first time. I was 
so excited, I wanted to drive later that day. 

I The second time was okay I crashed into a pole 

though. I was scared. Everything came out okay though. 

From The Beat: Thanks for sharing this story about learning how to 
drive. Was it hard for you to get behind the wheel after crashing? How 
do you feel about driving now? 

I M M M I 

How I 

To My Anoel 

You are my angel. 

My gift from above, 

I am addicted to you, 

I can never get enough. 

Your face a beautiful as heaven itself. 

You make me feel things I never felt. 

Your skin as smooth as silk and soft as velvet. 

Your eyes so precious to speak for themselves. 

Words can never tell it. 

Your scent more pretty then the most finest rose. 

One touch of your fingertips. 

Puts butterfiies in my stomach. 

And leaves tingles in my toes, 

I love you so much, 

I'd pick you over any woman, 

I'd choose you before more money than I could swim in. 

To me money does not matter. 

It's you that I want. 

And until I have you here in my arms. 

It's my thoughts and dreams your face will haunt. 


From The Beat: As the great poet William Butler Yeats put it "Always, 
when I clamber to the heights of sleep/Suddenly I meet your face". Who 
is the girl you wrote this for, and has she written you poems in return? 
Or is this a general love poem inspired by the idea of a love you haven't 
found yet? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^/// " 


My Birthday 

rm mad because tomorrow is my birthday and Fm stuck 
up in here. I'd rather be out celebrating it with my family 
and people who care about me instead of people I barely 

I'm also mad because I'm about to turn sixteen in 
here. I could have been doing a lot of things. I could have 
got my ID next month because I already held my permit 
for 5 months now. I also could of got a car but I'm just 
going to have to wait. 

I This is my first birthday being without my family. The 

only thing that can make my birthday better is if I can be 
with my family. 

I can't wait to get sentenced because I'm getting tired 
of being in here because I don't get to do what I want. If I 
go to CYA or ROP I know that I get more freedom. I also 
want to get sentence already because I just want to finish 
my time. 


From The Beat: It's unfortunate that you have to spend your birthday in 
here! We would rather you spend it with our family and loved ones too. 
But now you got yourself in a messed up situation and you're doing a 
good job of accepting the consequences for your actions. The only thing 
you can do now is strive to make your situation better. Learn from your 
mistakes. And make sure you don't get locked up for anymore. 

What's Good? 

What's good with y'all Beat? I'm still up here in the 
halls doing dead time. This shh is not cool, I can't stand 
being locked up no more. This is my 15th time up in this 

My PO got me messed up, on the real. Trying to send 
me to Nevada for 12 months. 

Hahaha, I'm gonna do it moving on the staff in Nevada. 
I'm gonna make it back to the bay regardless, I don't care 
how far Nevada is. I made it back from LA. What's stopping 
me now? I'm not trying to be up in the mountains with a 
bunch of stuck up white people. 


From The Beat: Do what you feel you need to do, but running away 
from your problems is not the solution. You're going to keep on running 
'till when? Is that how you want to live your life? On the run from the 
authorities? Just get your time over with and move on with your life, 
if you like eating county food and ^wearing country drawfs, then keep 
on running. 


Well I don't really know of a big achievement that I'm 
proud of. So I'm gonna talk about a big achievement that 
I would like to accomplish. 

The achievement I want to complete successfully is 
to stay out of jail. That's going to be a hard one, but if 
I put my mind into it I can do it. I will have to let some 
things go, and its not going to be easy. 

I need to keep my mind focused on something else 
rather than thinking about the hood all the time. Of 
course I'm not going to forget about it completely. I got 
much love for it. But when I get out I must make a couple 
changes and the first one is to get a job. I think if I get 
a job I can stay off the streets a little 'cause I'll be busy 
doing something, and the other major thing is to focus on 
my family more. So if I do what's in my heart, I should be 
able to achieve. 

-Staying Out Of Here 

From The Beat: It sounds like a hell of achievement but we believe you 
can accomplish it. We're not trying to tell you to forget about the hood, 
but you do need to start thinking about yourself. You don't ynsknnsk make 
a career out of going in and out of jail. That's not gonna put food on the 
table. But you're headed in the right direction. 

Gaogsta Poem 



A wise ninja once told me 

Life was short and rocky and harsh 

And you can't be a sucka 

To walk that path you must be solid to march 

Keep yo' mouth closed eyes open 

Remember stay hungry and humble 

Be ready for life's rumble, learn to tuck yo' bundles 

Show no emotion when you do dirt 

Keep that face with a smirk 

Because a hater gone get you hurt 

If you putting in all the work 

Never trust a fake friend 

That love to pretend 

Because he'll look that judge in the eyes 

And bring yo' world to an end 

Snitch leave you in a ditch and, dip without a care 

You could rot in prison for life, as long as they aint the 

ones there Treat others with respect that don't make 

you a punk 

A real man put his hands up and fight 

A fake grab that pistol and dump 

Walk with your head high 

Don't let no one stomp on your pride 

Remember it take a real ninja to walk in that life. 


From The Beat: What's your definition of a "real ninja"? And what's your 
definition of a "gangsta's life"? What is the message you're trying to get 
across? We have a suggestion don't put stny work in at all and that way J 
you won't have to worry about your fake friends snitching. I— i 


Young Capy 

Was up beat this is Young Capy again from Oakland 
writing from weak ass camp. I'm just up here waiting till 
April, so I can get out and be in the hood with the family 
just doing the thing I do best out there, you feel me? 

Well this Saturday I'm going on a home pass so I'm 
gonna be on one for 12 hours. Then come back to camp 
and do the same shhh, when I go on my over niters. I'm 
going to my RIP homies graves and kick it. Then I'm 
gonna try to go to school and get a job so I won't have to 
rob people no more. 

-Lil' Capy 

From The Beat: What kind of a job would you get? And what do you 
mean "try" to go to school? Like Yoda says 'There is no try. You do, or i 
you do not." Which side of The Force are you on? I 

Too YooflO 


He only fifteen now he faces the death penalty 
Don't even know if he can take the penitentiary 

What he gone do to get outta the situation 
Walking back and forth in his cell keep pacing 

Never thought his life will be this way 

All the ninjas he hang with be acting hella fake 

Never ever trust yo' friends 

Sucka ninjas will snitch when you think they ya' men's 

Ninjas never last that's the truth 

They can't charge you for murder if you ain't got no 


My life over at a young age 

I can't take it no more living in this cage! 


From The Beat: Trapped like sktt animal in a cage and it's hard to not to 
feel angry or any kind of rage. Life is all about making mistakes and 
learning from them. You can't trust anybody with your life. You have 
to trust yourself and no one else. Nobody is gonna bail you out when 
you're locked up in the pen. If you want to live institutionalized that's 
your decision. But if you want to have your freedom you already know 
what you need to do. 



/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^/// // 


My Opinion 

^' f 

If everyone could vote the world would be dumb because 
people would vote for dumb people like Bush, or people 
would vote for the world to blow up. The people would 
vote for one dumb ass ninja. 

If I could vote I would vote for Obama because he 
wants to help the troops, and they need help, help for the 
war and help to come home. 


From The Beat: We all vtsknnsk see more help to the troops. We don't 
support the war but we have to support the troops because it's not 
by their choice that they're out there. What would you do if you were 
president? What would you like to see happen? 

Oliama '08! 

If I could vote for president, I'm voting for Barack Obama 
period. I'm voting for him for president, he not fully black 
but he is as close as it's going to get. But even if he become 
president or not I'm not sure how could he help me or 
things that's happening in the streets? I don't know, even 
if he became president how can he help minorities? 


From The Beat: You're right how do you think one person gonna help us 
or the community. He has to worry about all the rich people too. What 
can he do to help the people in your community? If you could write a 
letter to the president what would you sxy'i 

Achieve Wliars Best 

■ 1 1 1 1 1 1 I -^ ^ 

If I could achieve something, it'll be school. Because I 
go, and then I'll stop going. It's like it gets too stressful in 
class. Sometimes I hate using my brain on things I'm not 
interested in. I don't know why but that's just me, I can 
see if it was about money... I'll achieve that fast (serious 

But I do have to go to school to achieve, because 
that's how I'm going to make money. If you don't have an 
education, you don't have nothing. Education will get you 
somewhere and football ain't for everybody. 

So do something you like that, that you enjoy, that'll 
make you money, like business, architect, landscaping, 
salesman, anything. 

It'll get you somewhere other than standing on a 
corner, get shot and killed or jail to 25 to life achieve 
something that you can put your mind to. I wanna achieve 
a lot of things, and I have to take steps, one by one, to 
make it 

So school is something I want to achieve. 
RIP Lil' D, Davon, D-Scrilla and the rest. 

-Lil' Ja'Corey 

From The Beat: Right on, it^ those small steps that will take you where 
you want to go. As for school, what if you treated it like a job, where 
you put in your time doing some things you like, some things you didn't, 
and you got paid back in knowledge, self-respect, and a chance for a 
better life in the future! 

My Acliievements 

I'm trying to achieve staying out of jail. Keep the girl 
I got, the job I got and take care of my daughter. So my 
loved ones can be happy for me, and all who thought I 
would end up a failure, be pissed at them selves for 
talking shh. 

I'm gonna make it, forget all you haters. For all keep 
your heads up and have faith in yourselves. 

-Lil' Mousie 

From The Beat: We're proud of you. We like to hear you say that you 
believe in yourself and that you're gonna make it. We believe in you 
to and don't even listen to the people that have nothing but negative 
things to say. 


Greatest Mentai Adiievement 


There's a big achievement I have accomplished. It has 
been the achievement accepting God into my life. Ever 
since I have accepted God into my life, my life has become 

My life has changed for the better. Everyday I have 
woken up with a smile on my face. Hard to believe because 
I'm locked up. Well there's nothing to be mad about I did 
crime so I'm doing the time. 

Oh well, live everyday to its fullest. But ya my biggest 
achievement is accepting God into my life. 


From The Beat: Congratulations! We hope that you reflect on how you 
were living your life. You made a couple mistakes, it's all good just pick 
yourself back up. You did the crime, but do the time and don't let it do 
you. Keep achieving and striving for your goals and stay with a positive 

What's Up Beat! 

It's yo' homeboy Dopey, hittin' you up from camp. I'm 
back up here hangin' out with the homies, tryin' not to 
think about the stuff that's goin' on in the outs. The good 
thing is I don't gotta do my program over. 

Hopefully I will get out in May or June. I plan on doin' 
a better program then last, I'm also getting back in the 
GED class, so I don't leave here empty-handed. I also plan 
on get my own house, and job, and be with my lady and 
the homies. 

TBW: Can you be with the homies without getting 
locked up? And how many people have died from this 

I know too many people that have died because of 
gang bangin'. Gangs are always going to be around, and 
the only thing new is the soldiers. I know there is no way 
out 'cause I'm not thinking of a way out... I don't want 
out. It's my way of life. 

The only way is to keep it solid! 


From The Beat: First off, thanks for ansivering this question honestly. 
The Beat is stronger when our writers speak the truth, even if it's a 
painful one. And sk% much sk% we want to try to argue you down and tell 
you how messed up that "way of life" is, you've probably heard it all 
before. But would you at least try to break it down to u% - what's the 
appeal? What is it that makes you willing to throw away your future, 
your hopes, and your own voice that knows what's right and wrong? 
Why don't you want out? 


inside One Man's Mind 


As I sit. 

And think to myself. 

What's wrong with me. 

What do you want me to do oh my mighty Lord, 

I am only one person who can only take so much. 

But yes has lost more than enough. 

Most of which of what I admired and loved. 

Now has become non present. 

Missing to my eyes. 

Missing in life. 

They've become voices in the wind. 

But yet such beautiful sounds. 

And since this. 

Things are becoming different. 

Some going up. 

And some going down. 


From The Beat: It's a gift to be able to hear those "voices in the wind." 
And it seems like here you hear them and help u% here them too. When 
did you first start writing poetry? Was it when you first came to jail? Or 
earlier? Does being able to put your feelings down on paper help you 
get through the hard times? 



agnnnnnE wmwmim 

^mammmmmmr ^^^/^^ 


LoGkdown Wake Up Call 

This unit is hella bootsie. I can't stand being here. 

I got to court tomorrow. I'm supposed to get out, but 
my PO hating. If I get out I won't come back. 

I'm 16 and now I'm a felon. I don't have any strikes 
though. When I get out I'm gonna chill out. I don't 

want to do any Y time, I would be going there but they 
reduced my charges. Basically I have a chance to change 
my life and I'm gonna take it. No more robbing people and 
getting caught. . . 


From The Beat: We're glad to hear you say that you vtsknnsk chill and stop 
robbing people. Doing things like that will guarantee you come back 
to jail and maybe catch some serious time. You got stn opportunity to 
change your life please don't waste it. 



To achieve is to make it to something that you want to do 
or if you have a goal to be a doctor. That's achieving your 
goal. That's what I think it is. Like if its something you 
achieve in life for instant if you get a degree or graduate 
or get a good life, like me, my goal or something that I 
want to achieve in is go to college in Atlanta and get a 
degree. But first I got achieve my goal to get out and do 
cool in the Y. But I'll be back soon, yeah though to achieve 
something is to live up and do it. 


From The Beat: That's what life is all about. It's about setting goals for 
ourselves' and try to achieve them. You have some really positive goals 
that you should achieve. Do your time in the Y and try to learn everything 
that you can. You're not gonna be locked up forever. When you get out 
don't forget about your goals. Stay positive and motivated. 



In two years I want to be... out of jail working hard 
towards my career, in college working on my major. 

In 5 years I want to be ready to graduate from college, 
and hopefully I'm already working full time. My dream is 
to design jewelry and pursue other hobbies that I have. I 
need to make money in order to live because I plan on 
living alone. I have people I can lean on for support, like 
my immediate family like my mother, father, sisters, and 
few of my real close friends. 


From The Beat: You're unlucky on the one hand, because you've had 
troubles, but lucky on the other, because you DO have that family 
support, and you also have real dreams and positive ideas for your 
future. Are there programs in camp that you can use? 

Love Of My Life 

You are the one who keeps me going. 

Without you I'd be lost. 

When you leave my heart turns from, 

A fire boiling love. 

To a lonely bucket of frost. 

If I lost you I'd probably go insane. 

Nothing would cure me from the heartache and pain, 

I know we have many hurtful fights. 

But if we keep loving each other. 

Then glued together we'll be for all of our lives, 

I wrote this poem for only one meaning. 

That since you came in my life. 

My heart has stop bleeding. 


From The Beat: "My heart has stopped bleeding." It's a blessing to 
find someone who can inspire you, help you write poems, and best of 
all - change your life around. Is this blessing helping you make the 
turnaround you need to stay out of trouble? 



Money makes people go crazy. 

Money makes people get killed. 

When money came in this world 

that's when everything start going bad. 

Just imagine if there wasn't any money in the world, 

like it never existed? The world would be hecka 


But money equals power 

so people with money thinks they are the shhh but 

they're not. 

-Sweet F Mae 

From The Beat: These are some profound statements you are making. 
If you didn't have to think about money, what would you want to do 
with this life? 



Besides being locked- up and not being able to see my 
family. Being locked up wasn't all bad. For instance, I 
started to eat healthy and started to go to school. I got 
some credits and finally passed the exit exam. Which I 
didn't do so well in the outs. 

But other than that I don't want to be in here no more. 
But I'm tryin' to make a negative turn in to a positive. Feel 


From The Beat: What would really make it positive would be if the time 
you spent locked up helped you really figure out what it is that you 
want from your time on the outs. Have you learned things at camp, 
either in school or from mentors, that will help you do better (and more 
positive) once you are released? 



I would like to achieve my goals some day, but every 
time I am out I'm playin' wit them thangs. Someday I'm 
gon' change 'cause I ain't tryna end up like the ninjas in 
Max. Ninjas say they get that time they whine and cry, so 
stop committing crimes if you can't handle the time. 

-Lir Damani 

From The Beat: Damani, no one should have to handle that time, 
whether they "can" or "can't." So when are you going to stop playing 
with fire - you say someday you'll change, but why not make that 
"someday" today? 

Stress: I Want My Soo To Have A Better ^< 
Life Thao Me ^ 

What's goin' on? I've been in camp since about a month. 

I've already had my home pass but it wasn't the best. 
I went home and there nothing but drama. I was hella 
upset when I came back. Right now I got the most messed 
up situation with my baby mama. My life is going down 
right now but I'm trying to do whatever I can for my son 
and when he's born you know I'm going to get a job. 

I've been stressing so bad I don't know what to do, I 
feel like giving up on life, but if I give up on life then that 
means I gave up on my son's life, and that's something I 
don't wanna do... 'cause I'll be just like my dad. 

I'm different ~ I want my son to have a better life than 

Alright Beat, I'm gone. 


From The Beat: You answer your own questions in this piece. Even while 
you talk about the despair, you also find your own reasons for hope. 
You have hope, you believe in a better future, and that hope is what 
will get you through this. Have you run? No. Have you gotten into 
fights? No. Have you given up? No. And that means you won't give up 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^/// // 


It Feels So Real 

Her smile, her face, her touch 

It feels so real 

It's dark her touching me fills my body up with chills 

Her long hair and brown eyes is more than I can spare 

But her lips I'm kissing make me speak 

The real strawberry and kiwi is all I can smell 

Lingerie and her soft skin 

I can show her off for show and tell 

When she smiles it fills 

My heart with joy me holding her fill the world with joy 

stilettos or pumps she can make her rump jump 

But if she was to turn around 

You can see her sugar plum. 

- Jerm the Worm 

From The Beat: With talent like this, you need to get out of Juvenile 
Hall and back in school, where you can keep expanding your vocabulary 
and learning what you need to do so you become such a success that 
girls are showing YOU off for show and tell! Peace. 

If Everyone Could Vote 

If everyone could vote it would be a good idea but 
immigrants would start voting ...and this is not their 
country. And I don't think it fair. I would vote for my 
homie Lil Quis because we would go stupid in the white 
house. The Navy would get active. 


From The Beat: Most everyone we turned around and looked at in our 
office has at least one relative who was born in another country. And 
you best believe we consider ourselves Americans. This whole country is 
a country of immigrants. In fact, the only people here who ARENT the 
children of immigrants are Native Americans/Indians! Don't buy into the 
hate. You're better than that. 


The Only Way I Know 


"I got so much love for the game that I feel ashamed" 

Roses are red violets are blue 

I miss the way I be lovin' you 

I stay up in my cell waitin' to ball 

But every time I beat my meat 

I know my life is goin' to hell 

The way I be livin' ain't no joke 

Many people die by slittin' their throat 

But I keep my head up just waitin' to see 

If I'm gon' turn my life around to benefit me 

But the only way I know how, the only way I can see 

Is endin' up in the ground with a bullet in me. 


From The Beat: Roses are red, violets are blue/you may love the game 
but it don't love you/there's folks in your hood that still try for the 
good/who lead for unity, to heal the community/the disease is hood 
sickness and there's only one immunity/find a goal and then stick to it/ 
get out of the game, don't try to go through it. 

roi stressing 


1 1 

1 1 

I'm shelled out, because when I first came in here, I went 
to court. My Momma said she'd come to court for me, but 
she didn't answer, so I went to court alone. 

After court I was given a court-ordered phone call... 
she still didn't answer, so I called my PO and she told me 
that she went to jail. She's been incarcerated for 2 days. 
Then my PO told me that my two brothers ran from his 
group home. 

Now I sit here in hall waiting to go back to court on 
Feb. 11th and today, Feb. 5th, I just heard about 7:30pm 
tonight that my brother came back to Juvenile Hall and 
my little brother has nobody to take care of him accept 
my gramps, who is 79 years old and has Alzheimer's. 

That's what I'm really stressed about -- my little 
brother. My twin, I know he can take care of himself and 
so can I, but my lil' brother and gramps can't! Love... 

-Lil' Twin 

From The Beat: Ugh - we're sorry to hear that you and your family are all 
in such a hard predicament. This is what they mean when they %x^ that 
if one person in a family does time, everyone in the family does time. 
Keep us posted on what happened, and we hope that you are all able to 
be together soon. And keep your head up in here! I 

Lil' Qois for President 

Man I think I should be president of the U.S because I 
go silly in the U.S and I think that if I don't, some black 
person will make it, I hope. 

-Lil' Quis 

From The Beat: You want to be a leader - we like that. Even if the 
presidency isn't what you try for, you could be a leader in some other 
profession, if you really let yourself dream big. But what kinds of 
changes would you need to make in the life you're living right now 
order to become a success? And what has kept you from making those 
changes so far? 


.N r 

I have a lot of achievements... I been on a baseball team 
that has went to the state championship and won 2nd 
place, but I was so proud. That was the best achievement J I 
I've achieved so far. \ \ 

I have achieved a lot of things, but most important is 
that I'm still alive. 

-Go Diego Go 

From The Beat: Yes, we should be grateful for every day we breathe, 
you're right. On the other hand, we sure hope you haven't let this J I 
setback take you too far away from baseball... you can still play, right? I I 
And maybe coach sk% well, to share that feeling of achievement with the ■ ' 
next generation! 


My achievements that I want to accomplish is to get back 
on the block. The judge sent me to Camp Sweeney. 

My brotha is up in there so I ain't trippin'. When I'm 
back on the block I'm Anna stay outta jail. I'm Anna get 
me a job and get my money flowin'. I'm gonnna be stackin' 
in the legit way. The dope dealin' way is fun but it only 
last fo' a cool minute. I'm Anna do what I do. To all my 
ninjas, keep it pimpin' 

-Insane Viet 

From The Beat: We'll see you at camp! What kind of a job do you plan to 
look for? Have you thought about where you want to work, where you 
might look? Have you also thought about what other things in your life 
you might have to change in your life? 

ClieGi(in' In 



What's goin' down this the homeboy from Livermore. I'm 
up in this so-called cell not doin' nada. Just wanted to say 
something right quick since I got a pencil and there ain't 
nothin' else to do. I just wanted to tell all you homeboys 
to keep it solid and do what you do to stay solid. 

But whenever to tell all you homeboys get out do 
things the smart way and stay up out these halls 'cause I 
know this ain't what y'all wanna see, we need to be in our 
hoods putting it down... that's were we need to be. 

Much love and respect to all locked up. 

-Lost homie 

From The Beat: Your definitely not about taking care of your grandparents 
and your baby cousins? You don't mention going to school to better 
yourself so you can make your family and neighborhood proud? Are you 
about getting jobs and feeling the self-respect that comes from knowing 
you can earn a living legit? Because all this talk about the "homies" and 
"banging" ... that just leads to funerals, ankle cuffs, and tears. 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmr ^/^/^/ 


I did many achievements in my life but the one that I 
really want to accomplish is to be a good role model for 
my little sister. Ever since she was born, I've been getting 
locked up. 

She have been visiting me with my mom when I was 
in the halls. I don't want my little sister to remember that 
I was in jail. I don't want her going up to me when she get 
older and say that she visited me in jail. 

I want her to think positive about me, not negative. 

So my achievement for me this year is to get out of 
camp, and be a good role model for my little sister. 


From The Beat: You must look like a god to her, just imagine how much 
she looks up to you - and just think. When she %ee% you doing right, 
it will make her a stronger person in this world. It must be a trip to 
realize how much you are needed, that you matter in another human 
being's heart. 

Votino For The President 

You know I'm voting for the best man. 

I really don't know about electing but I would vote for 
Obama. He will make history. But if he doesn't, we are 
still going to make history: The first woman in the history 
of the United States of America. 

If I were old enough I would vote for Obama because 
he has a strong possibility to win. Save the drama for yo' 
mama ...and vote for Obama 

-Go Diego Go 

From The Beat: You may not be able to vote in this election, but you'll be 
old enough for the next one, and don't forget it^ in the local elections 
that you REALLY need to be on point - that's where they add on all 
the propositions that affect community college funding, minimum wage 
laws, trying youths sk% adults, and lot of the other issues that will affect 
you and your loved ones perfectly. 

Uninyal Peopie 

Unloyal people. I don't know how they can sleep at night, 
after knowing that they just snitches on somebody and 
got them locked up or got them into same sort of trouble 
by the snitch. 

My dream is that one-day everybody will keep their 
mouth shut and will not break under pressure no matter 
what the case is. It wasn't for snitches me and my 
homeboys would be free and on the outs doing whatever 
they want when they want those are my thoughts about 
snitches speakin' on other peoples thangs. 

-Young Diablo 

From The Beat: The thing is - that whatever you and your homeboys 
die, the responsibility is on YOU, not on the person who told on you. 
Why'd you and your homeboys have to break the law to begin with? 
Don't commit the crime, and no one else can speak or get you time. 

Ine Mintt at Camp 


I've been at camp for a little over a month now, and the 
time is going by a little bit faster. I finally went home this 
past weekend, and it made me feel great, because I was 
free and didn't have to be around all of these wannabe 

But by me going home that makes me want to do an 
even better program than I have, because me going home 
is a better then me locked up in jail. 

So I am gonna keep doing me, going home every 
weekend and be happy 

- Jh 

From The Beat: When you're home, is there any leftover from the original 
drama that got you locked up? Are you using that time at home to build 
up positive habits so you never have to come back to stn institution that 
deprives you of your freedom? 

I I 

I I 


If EverynneCouid Vote... 


If everyone could vote I would say, shut most jails 

And vote for majority of our schools back and vote 
for more high tech guns, also give people in jail a better 
chance to redeem themselves. The ones who want to and 
that's serious. 

-The Eight Star General 

From The Beat: Here's a question - take a look around your neighborhood, 
and think of the last 10 people you know who were killed in street 
violence. Each one of them was killed by a gun. The more guns are out 
there, the more bullets it is flying around the world. Shouldn't the next 
president be working on trying to get the guns OFF the street? 

KiGi(in' It 

To The Beat. What's good, it's your boy Looney just up 
in camp kickin' it with the homies, and doin' my time, 
feel me? I'm trying to change my life, got a job, gotta live 
a family life, but just do more for my son and be there 

Well homeboys learn from your mistake's and play 
your cards right. If you come up to camp, we smashin' so 
be aware and stay solid to the game. 


From The Beat: The conflict between your old life and your new hopes 
really shows through in this piece. Is it really possible to be solid to 
your son AND solid to you're the game at the same time? We've %een 
people try, but it turns out \t'% not so esksy to be true to both. 

» II i[ I I 

How I Feei 

(Attention: I have a new name. I used to be Lil' TF, Lil' 

TI, Lil' Mac) 

I'm tired of this camp shhh, 

I can't wait to get out so I could buy me a whip. 

I'm trying to stack chips, 

I'm gon' get all I can get back to the block 

They gone be like damn, he the man, 

I got to be all that I can 

Like my name the Navy 

Me and my ninjas we all go crazy 

And they say we hella shady 'cause we all get down. 

If you didn't know then you better ask around 

A-S-A-P you know what that spell 

ASAP, Free my ninjas fast ....'cause most of us in jail 

RIP Jaee, Doobee, Stevie, Lil' D and all my fallen ninjas. 

-Lil' T the Freestyle King 

From The Beat: Like you said "be all you can be" and you don't need to 
do all that dirt and try and run the block... A true King looks for more 
power than what you get from being a corner soldier, 
now live up to it! 

You chose 

Bio Head Blues 

the I 


The majority of people that are locked up are very 

talented and very good at writing 
Got to be alert because of too much fighting you got 


But are not useful got to watch before 21 get that 44 

Now I can' say no more because of staff and others in 

the system 

Are trippin' it don't matter because I'm dippin' 

Leaving this camp tramp and never come back they call 

me "big head" 

size of the world girls on me like bees on honey. 

-Big Head 

From The Beat: The day you decide to u%e that Big Head of yours for 
a 100 percent positive lifestyle is the day you could start your own 
personal revolution. We hope that you mean it - no coming back to 
camp, no coming back to the system - unless it's to change it. 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmr '^^^^i 

Broadened Up Mindframe 


I feel very happy that I haven't got shot. To me that's a 
great achievement in my life, because The type of life I was 
living I could have caught some lead. Many people I hang 
with everyday have gotten shot multiple of times I've been 
shot at plenty of times so I feel lucky. One achievement 
is I survived another day everyday I survive I think of that 
as an achievement. 

I plan to achieve a lot of things but now all of my plans 
are postponed until I gain my freedom back. Positive 
things I feel I haven't achieved yet, so that's my vision to 
get a job, and own a house. When I get out I feel I have 
something to prove to myself, my family, and the world, 
that is to be successful. I want to live prosperous and 
retire from my thug way although the game has been good 
to me. My decisions have locked me up physically but not 

My mind frame has broadened up. I'm blessed to 
go home, and be alive, so why take a chance on my life 
again? It's time to start new. 


From The Beat: There are certain things you can't control - iwhich is if 
you live in a neighborhood where there are gunshots. But on the other 
hand, there's a lot you can control too, right? Like you said, part of the 
problem is the life you were living. And so long sk% we see you eating 
single service Sstntsk Rita dinners and waiting on a system worker for 
fresh air, we don't believe that the game has been good to you. But you 
know this already, sk% you show in your last line. 

Blood Sweat and Tears 


Blood sweat tears is all I shed 

And the reason I do it is for the bread 

I am going to keep getting it until the day I am dead. 

But when that day comes 

I hope it's not 'cause a '45 to the head 

But it's so hard 

Because I am having dreams 'bout the feds 

It's ok though 'cause when I wake I am still in bed. 


From The Beat: This poem gives us the chills. Those nightmares are real 
out there on the streets, and you deserve so much better. What about 
trying to find OTHER ways to earn the bread? 

Proud Bf All My Achievements 


I am proud of all my achievements, like when I was 
playing for my basketball team and we won games. I felt 
like I achieved something. 

And when I got good grades and brought them home 
to my family, I felt like I achieved something to see them 
happy. Also they gave me money and stuff for my grades I 
felt good after that. 

Recently when my unit was playing in the winning 
game against another unit, and it was our ball. We was 
down by one point and I was open. They passed me the 
ball at tiie three-point line and I was wide open. I thought 
about it, and then let it fly, and it was all net. We won and 
went to the next round and got out on that day. 

My greatest achievement to me was when I got my 
GED. My mom was happy and the rest of my family. 

Also my PO was so glad that she was letting me 
off probation. Then I went to jail one day before I was 
supposed to get off. I still got off, but I'm still in here. 

-Baby T 

From The Beat: It feels good - that triumph, knowing the people around 
you are proud of you, knowing you've done something difficult, knowing 
that you've helped a group of people move forward. Moments like that 
are what make life worth living, we hope you strive to have many more 
of them! Are you going to keep playing ball on the outs? Is there a team 
at your high school you could try out for? 


She Needs A Hug 


I'm sitting in my room worried about me and you 

being in this place got me missing yo' face 

Damn I can't wait for us to be in the same space 

But don't trip we'll be together soon faster than you 


She needs a hug 

I sit back and reminisce 'bout all the times we spent 


From wake-up to break-up 

And I'm still picking up j-cats' games 

'Cause they get at you. 

But you still stay true it's always me and you 

She needs a hug 

I ain't no angel but I got one on my side 

Which is you you know The Kid stay true. 

Even though your man is thuggin' 

That don't mean he don't like to make and see you smile 

'Cause with that I could go a million miles 

She needs a hug 

She say she love me 

Which I feel we be so close, feelings go crazy 

Which means me too and I'm important 

Most to the one who care I ain't tripping 

'Cause just like everybody else 

I know what it is so just know 

We love each other 

I hope the same I'll see you soon 

Till then she needs me love and 

She needs a hug 

-Lil' Solid 

From The Beat: "I ain't' no angel but I got one on my side." One of 
our favorite lines we've heard from you yet - maybe the angels see 
something in you worth saving and fighting for. Can you do that - 
and can you love this girl the way she deserves to be love if you don't 
commit to living your life legit? 

RIP Dnodie 

My ninja. I miss my ninja. He's been gone for about 
five months. He first came to jail in February of 2007 for 
possession of a firearm. Me and Doodie was in the same 
unit, beastin' it on them ninjas. 

And then next time I seen my ninja, we was on late- 
night, posted. Then we went to go kick with my ninja, and 
Doodie and another ninja had a fight. 

Then two weeks later my ninja was dead, and I was 
stressed then it was on after that. I miss you bra. 


From The Beat: It's a tragedy that you lost him. Also a tragedy that the 
loss put you back in jail and back "on one." But this pain won't be for 
nothing, if you can learn from it, and maybe even make a voiw that you 
will change and live a good life, because you can. How about if you start 
by quitting the late nights? 

With All My Heart 

I really miss my girlfriend. I miss the way she used to 
talk me into buying her stuff and giving her money. I love 
her with all my heart. 

I swear I'll take a bullet to the backside for her. I miss 
her dearly. And I dream about her beautiful face every 
night even though she's a tad bit overweight and has 
several acne. I just make believe they're freckles. 

And I tell her she's beautiful every chance I get. I love 
you Amanda. . . Peace Beat 


From The Beat: When you truly love someone, you see and feel her inner 
beauty. Do you think this is true love, the kind that inspires you BOTH 
to make yourselves better people? 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmF ^/^/// 


Achievements: Real Talk. 

X f 

I want to achieve my goals I set for 2008 and while I was 
in here (J.J.C). 

I been locked up since March 29th, 2007 and I set goals 
up for my future. Im looking forwards to graduate and get 
my diploma but so far it ain't looking too good I just got 
my transcripts and I only got 63 credits. I'm suppose to 
graduate next year, '09. I'm gonna try and get my credits 
up 'cause all I need is 200 credits to graduate. 

My back up plan is to get my GED. I'm also looking 
forward to help my parents out and get a job 'cause I'm 16 
going to be 17 yrs old and I think I should be taking care 
of them now. 

I want to play football and go to college. I'm going for 
criminal justice to be a staff over here or be a PO, 'cause I 
want to help the next generation out with a better future. 
Real talk. That's about it Beat, I'm ghost... 


From The Beat: These goals are solid, achievable, and maybe even just 
around the corner. Just remember that the best way to "take care" of 
our parents is to take care of yourself ... get a job, avoid keeping them 
up at night with worry, make it so they don't have to pay anymore 
restitution, and mostly, be happy and proud of yourself. What will you 
have to ditch in your life in order to start working on these goals for 

So Tired 

What's up Beat? This is Lil Chuy still in j£iil stuck like Joe. 
I really want to go home because I'm tired of coming 

back to jail. 

I need to go make some money, because I am tired of 

looking at the same staff and the same ninjas. 

I'm so tired of wearing the same pants for a week. 

So tired that I can't talk to my main. 

Staff always thinking that they seen us 

They got me messed up. 

So tired. 

-Lil' Chuy 

From The Beat: We're glad you're so tired, because hopefully it will make 
you tired of the life you were living on the outs. We hope you remember 
exactly how you felt when you wrote this, so that you get out of the 
deathgame for good! 

ake I 
ber I 
the I 

Ma letter le Eel 


Dear Heavenly Father, 

I'm here praying to you today and every day. Praying 
for you to watch over my family, friends, and staff. I thank 
you for watching over me and my younger siblings. I 
thank you for sending good people my way to help and 
watch over me. I pray for my parents and grandparents 
to be safe and live longer and that they forgive me for my 
sins and you forgive them for theirs. 

I pray my cousin Shay gets out and stays out. 

I pray for people to stop getting into it. 

I pray for my Auntie & Uncle. I pray that you soften 
the judges & PO's & DA's hearts 

I pray that I go home 

I pray that you know Jesus Christ has a better plan 
for me. In Jesus's name I pray. Amen. 

Oh and I also pray for the children and my husband 
and parents-in-law. 

I really pray for my lil' cousins and Pastor Allen for 
helping me. Amen. 


From The Beat: We can see that you really wrote this from the heart, 
and we hope that these prayers reach the right ears. Of course the most 
important ears are your own, in the %en%e that sk% you icnow, you must 
spend each day making these prayers mean something by doing your 
best to be good to others, and to yourself. Can you give u% sktt example 
of a moment wfhen you've lived the ^t«y you knoiAf you ivanted to? 

Too Comfortable 


Lately I've been thinking bout goin' home. I've been 
stressing that it's taken to long for them to release me. 
I've been waiting two months and it's been like I got 

I comfortable being here. 
Then it hit me that I want to need to go home. 


From The Beat: You need to get home, and stay home, because like you 
I said, once people get too comfortable in here, that's when they're really . 
I in danger. Do you think this happens to a lot of people? I 


Teo Years From Now 


I just want to get my life straight in this world, even 
though I keep messing up in my life. I know I'm going to 
be someone later on. 

People keep talking and running their mouths but 
I'm tired of doing dirt in these streets, and now I want to 
keep my head up and be someone in the future. Because 
without education I ain't going to be nobody. I feel like a 
sucka every time I get home, because I know my parents 
know that I'm good, and they think that I'm doing good 
in my life but now is another story for me. I just want to 
get out and just be someone in my life and change for my 
parents, and me, and all my family. 


From The Beat: You just took the first step - you know what you want, 
and you know why, deep down in your heart. The next step is the 
"how." How are you going to make these changes. Are there people you 
need to stop hanging out with? Spots you need to avoid? Is it time to 
get a job, or is it time to pick up on a sport you left behind? If you want 
to do better in school, do you need to go to a teacher and demand a 
tutor? What else would help you succeed? 

I I I I I I I I I 

Wheo I Get Dot 

When I get out I'm 'bout to change some of my ways 
(like my attitude), because I don't want to come back to 
the hall. 

And I also wanna change my ways so I can be with 
my family, because I haven't been with them in like two 
years. This is why I wanna change my ways. 

-Lil' O 

From The Beat: It starts with that feeling, deep in your heart, that you 
want something better. You took that first step by having that feeling. 
Now the next step is to really start doing things differently. What are 
some of the "ways" you need to change? And what new "ways" will you 
substitute for the old ones? 

Gold Years Of Love 

Oh Lord, I think the golden years have seen my very 


For all throughout my youthful life I was put through 

many tests. 

My heart now has a yearning as it never had before 

To see your hand in everything and to want you more 

and more. 
Why did I have to wait so long to walk the narrow road 
And to be so filled with love for you that I fear I might 

Oh lord, your love is awesome, it lifts me to a higher 


Please let me live these golden years giving praise to 

your holy name. 


From The Beat: You ask a good question in this lovely poem of praise 
- which is why do you think it's NOW that you have had a change in 
your feelings about faith? Is it because you are locked up? Or because 
of skn individual person who inspires you? Is it because you're in jail? 
The reason we ask is that this positive feeling is something you want to 
hold on to right? So how will you keep it in your mind when temptations 
come your way? 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmr ^/^/^/ 

This Case 

rm in here on a pistol case, 

And if it would have been me driving 

It would've been a high-speed chase, 

Now the D-A is in my lawyer's face like a can of mace. 

Not tryin' to give a homie any space. 

I just want to be on the block, in the city, you feel me. 

Fma stay on the top of my game, fahgit the fame, 

don't make myself hot. 

-Jay Jay 

From The Beat: There's only one way to stay on top of your game and 
that^ to quit playing. Because right now, that game is on top of you.. 
If you'd had a high speed chase, you might have gotten yourself - or 
another person - icilled. And it would have been a murder charge! So 
why don't you take this experience sk% a real chance at a better life? 

I I 

M) Futire 


I wanna go to SF State. The way I'm going to do that is 
get my GED then go to Junior College for two years. Then 
go to SF State. 

I'm proud of graduating from Junior High. 

-The Bight Star General! 

From The Beat: How did it feel when you were walking that stage, 
getting ready to pick up your JH diploma? Proud, right? Like you were 

I becoming a success in life? Multiply that feeling times 10, and that's 
how you'll feel when you get your GED. Then multiply it times 100, 
and then that's how you'll feel when you get yourself in college. Keep 
us posted! 

Why I Want Obama To Be President ^ 

Me I think Obama should become president because I 
know he gon' change things in our community. 

The things that need to change is the violence in 
Oakland, and things out the whole world because it would 
help people be positive and successful in the world. He 
would make people live up to their goals and what they 
want to become in life. 

If I could have my opinion I would make more 
recreation programs and the communities have lots of 
after school programs and things of that nature. 

That's why I think Obama should be president. 

-Lil' T 

From The Beat: No matter who wins, it's about time we get a president 
who made the youth and schooling a top priority. But the responsibility 
is also on you, right? Because if those rec centers get built, will you go 
to them? Would you work at one, watching the little kids? Would you 
keep the violence out of it? If there were afterschool programs, would 
you go? 

If Everyone Could Vote: A Different World ^ 

If everyone could vote, the "Three Strikes" law would not 
be passed, because convicted felons would vote against 

If they mess up twice and then try and change their 
life, and get caught runnin' a stop sign they could get 
life! And the death penalty would not be around either, 
because nobody wants to die. 

Stanley Tookie Williams would still be alive today. The 
immigration laws would be different because, immigrants 
come for a fresh start and they would want to stay. 

And the war would be more brutal because the families 
would want the women or men back, so they may just kill 
everybody so they can come home. 


From The Beat: We were with you on this terrific piece right up to the 
end, because one thing that might happen is that if people could vote, 
they'd %x^ "Hey we don't want to kill or die for a war that isn't about 
u%" and maybe it wouldn't be more killing, it would actually be less. 
Like you %«y, nobody wants to die. 


I Miss My Family 


What's up with it Beat? I'm here to talk about my family. 
Man, I miss my family. I been locked up in Juvenile Hall 
for almost 3 month and I'm stressing really hard right 
now, because I ain't with my family and my two little 

The other reason why I miss my family is because 
when my mom, step dad, and two little sisters come visit 
me I cant even get to hug my mom or nothing I got non- 
contact visits I gotta see my parents behind the glass. 

The only thing I'm really mad about is that I don't get 
to see my big sister that much I only see her like three 
time at court and I didn't get a chance to see my whole 

-Baby Al 

From The Beat: Man, you need to get back home to the people you love, 
soon. They need you, and you need them. Have you sat down with them 
to make a plan for how you will make sure you don't have to come back 
to the system again? 


Escape from Reality 

When I make love I inhale it in my lungs 

My true love is the potency of the weed I add to my blunt 

I swear I'm in love with this nerve calmer 

I wake up and that's my breakfast 

I rarely need to eat 

I just puff and light to wake from my sleep 

My girl be jumpin' on me 

Tryna make me put her as my number one love 

But I tell her hold on, and spark another blunt 

This the way I escape from reality and blind my rough 


I like to roll up puff and listen to my heart honestly 

I blow me eight sacks a day not caring about cancer 

I'm just focused on taking my thoughts to a better place 

I'm a bomb walking exploding with the smell of 


When I'm walking through the place folks ask me "ay, 

you got it?" 

I say "naw I ain't the one to ask to cop you a dose 

You gotta find some other youngsta 'cause I don't sell, I 


Real big, you see my blunts 

My ninja real big 

And don't let me start on the Hennessey Privilege... 

-Lil' Young the Rebel 

From the Beat: You love a woman that don't love you baclc/She'll break 
you and fake you put YOU on the traclc/She takes your blood like a 
vampire/She keeps you numb so you don't feel the pain/A whole world 
to lose, and nothin' to gain/Your mind would be too clear if you keep 
talkin'/So this fake woman of yours got you sleepwalkin'/Right to the 
grave/Or the six by eight/Find a better girl, before it's too late! 


Voting Eqoals Change 

If everyone could vote, things will be better, because 
thing will change. Like some laws 'cause most black males 
paperwork and they do not have the rights to votes. 

If everybody could vote it will be a lot of different laws 
and people will have all chance to do something good, 
and help out people that can't vote. They would like to 
see change in the laws. 


From The Beat: One of the things that's true is that if every member of 
the black community voted, the black community would be much more 
powerful in American politics. Right now, there's lots of politicians who 
don't even pay attention to what happens in the ghetto, because they 
know people in the ghetto won' t vote or effect whether or not they get 
re-elected. Crazy, right? 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmr ^^^/^^ 

If I Ruled The World 


If I ruled the world it would be no little kids hungry 

Or nobody robbing or killing for money 

And everybody would be free to do whatever 

They like if I ruled the world I would take form the rich 

and give to the poor 
They don't know how it feel to have your lights turned 


They don't know how living in poverty could make a 

young man sell drugs 

We ain't made into we was born to be thugs 

I would not let ladies have abortions 

'Cause they killing an innocent life that never did 


And I would make sure homeless people had a place to 


-Young Mari 

From The Beat: If you ruled the ivorld then the iworld would be all- 
good. But one person can't rule the world. There are billions of people 
in this world. How can one person rule the world and make it good? 
Why can't we all rule the world by just being positive all on our own? If 
everyone stopped the negativity and started doing positive we would 
all see some kind of change in this iworld. 

A Ctanied Persii 


My goal I want to achieve is to get out of Juvenile Hall 
and go home and be good with my parents. 

I want to show them that I am a wonderful kid that 
they have. I wanna show my parents that I can go to 
school and graduate from High School. 

I don't want my parents to think that they have raised 
a bad kid and that's why I'm gonna be super good for them 
and never come to Juvenile Hall. 

My second goal is to finish my probation and get over 
with it. If I get placed on Home Supervision I am gonna 
follow all the rules and regulations. After I get out of 
Juvenile Hall I really want to change my life over I want to 
be a changed person. 


From The Beat: Seems like you don't need to change who you are, just 
some of the things you do - and then you won't be becoming a new 
person, you'll just return to being the old good person that your parents 

love so much. Peace! 

3G5 Days A Year I'm Writino 


365 days I'm writing 

This is one of the things in my life that is exciting 

I write and I really do think I am the best 

They good but forget about the rest 

I can write about any topic 

Y'all writings is a walk in the park 

Mine is a trip to the tropics 

If yo' writings ain't real you should really stop it 

I'm like a gun after you cock it 

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 then I blast off like a rocket 

I'm the first like Willie Mays 

I'm like a full-grown lion released from his cage 

And I swing page to page 

Call me a gorilla on paper 

Write so much all I see is the blue lines 

Try to top me lil' dude stop trying 

I'm the greatest no denying it. 

-Young Mari 

From The Beat: Stay writing and get anything you feel like getting off 
your chest. You are a great writer you should really u%e your skill to 
your advantage. You can get paid serious bread if you know what you're 


They Don't Care 


If you like reading fake stuff don't read this yeah this 

Young Mari 

And I'm about to talk about this system 

They try to take us away from our family 

So easily they don't know how it feels to have tiiey kids 

sent off to who knows where 

I been here almost five months and my PO only talked to 

me three times 

They just lock us up and forget about us like we're 


And they wonder why we're mad 

Most of the time 'cause we come here for all kinda 


And we feel we should get another chance to make it 


They send us to the Y 

To get rid of us for a few years 

They don't care about helping us 

They just say let's keep them locked up 

Makes our jobs easier 

Until next time stay strong. 

-Young Mari 

From The Beat: You're right they don't care. At the end of the day they 
are just there to collect their paycheck. It's not fair that they send 
people off to institutions like CYA and expect them to change. But on 
the other hand a lot of people get second chances. Some people get 3, 
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, chances. And they always want more chances, but go back 
to doing the same thing. If you were given a chance what would you 

do with it? 



I came to Juvenile Hall on The 1st and I'm mad. 


From The Beat: We hope you stay mad - mad enough to promise yourself 
that you will never, ever put yourself in a lockdown situation again. Can 
you be that mad? I 

My Life 

What's up Beat, this Chikillo well I don't feel no topics 
but I'm gonna write about my life. Well, once I was with 
my homeboys kicking it, smoking with some girls, having 
fun. It was like 12am, and then we went to buy some 

When I got out of my house, there were like five people 
waiting for us, but I didn't know who they were, and then 
they just start to shoot at us. 

So me and my homeboys started running through 
somebody's property then they call the police on us. We 
started running to different places and jumping fences 
so we wouldn't get caught, but then I called my cousin to 
pick me up and take me home. 

When I just got home and start thinking about what I 
had done and my mom and dad was hella mad when I got 
home because it was hella late but they were mad only for 
two days and then they forgot about it. 

I couldn't take the whole thing out of my mind because 
it was like a bad and good day because I was with the 
homeboys and homegirls kicking it and it was a bad day 
'cause I got shot at. 

Well Beat I'm out. 


From The Beat: You have been through and %een so much that honestly 
we think "My Life" is the best topic you could pick. We see more bad day 
than good day in this story, because we feel like it could happen again. 
We know you love your friends, but by being part of that lifestyle, you 
make yourself a human target - either for the police or for the bullets... 
and we feel like your parents did - they weren't "mad" at you, they were 
genuinely scared for you. Are you scared for yourself? 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmmr ////^/ 

Barack Obama ^ 

I think Barack Obama would be a good president for 
us because the people in the war in Iraq have families 
worried about them and he said he will pull as many as 
he can out. 

Another reason I think he would be a good president is 
because he cares about the needs in the U.S like better 

schools, job, and other things like cleaning our 
community. I think Barack Obama is the most powerful 
politician, and he should be elected president of the U.S 


From The Beat: Maybe when you get out of jail you should think about 
a future in politics too, because it sounds like you really think about the 
issues. Maybe one day you could follow in his footsteps? 

Stuck In Tlie Game \ 

A pretty woman once asked me if my life I would 


But as I looked into her eyes began feeling strange 

I said that change would be good but Fm stuck in the 


And when I try to do different I end up doing the same 

What I'm livin' is real there aint no riddles or jokes 

One minute I could be smoking the next I could be 


I stay surrounded by rivals up in the streets and in jail 

So I stay on my toes loving this life up in hell 

And I ain't running from no one unless they bust my 


I'll also run from the cops and more than less from the 


At times I feel paranoid like I'm alone in this world 

But then I look at my fam', my boys, my gun, and my girl 

So I ain't trippin' off nothin' 'cause I got all that I need 

All I'm missing is freedom and a gram of some weed 

And I'm a true 49er just like Joe Montana 
You can catch me on the block rocking my bandana 


From The Beat: Everything that you say you need is just gonna bring 
you right back to jail. You need your gun for what? You want your 
freedom so bad but when you get out all you're gonna do is do things 
that's gonna bring you back. So how can somebody want their freedom 
so bad only to go back to doing things that jeopardize their freedom? i 
What do you want your freedom for? 1 

Voting For President \ 

I've heard that Hilary Clinton is going to do things to 
help Oakland directly. 

But I think Barack Obama is the best candidate for 
president. Not because he is black, but because he talks 
about things that will help the morale of the country, 
like pull the U.S troops out of the Middle East, which is a 
highly dramatic situation at this period of time. 


From The Beat: Thanks for your thoughts on this... do you personally 
have family members or loved ones in the military or in Iraq? When you 
are old enough to vote, do you intend to register? Do you think your 
vote matters? 

Notiilng Clianges 


I don't believe -- I'm just keeping it real -- that anything 
is gonna change, because people are just going to keep 
shooting each other. Somebody's gonna let their ego get 
bigger then their life. 

Shhh, what they gonna do? Bring the army? 

We got guns and shhh that the army got. 

But I do want to see what's going to happen with the 

-Lir Miami 

From The Beat: It^ a good thing you did end on a note of hope, because 
we got worried there. If the young people don't believe they have a 
better future, how will they ever get there? 

Vote, My Tliouglits 

I think everyone in the United States should be able 
to vote. I only think it's fair for everyone in the U.S to 
vote because anything that happens effect those people 
that didn't vote. I think the age limit for voting should 
be sixteen, because by that age kids should be maturing 
and have a feel of what's going on. I also think people in 
prison should vote because they are being affected. I 

-Philosopher I 

From The Beat: You're right but the system isn't set up like that. What 
can you do to change it? How can you go about letting the officials that 
the community elects into office, know that we need to change the age 
for voting. Why do you get tried sk% adults but you can't even vote or 
buy cigarettes. And how can you prove that people start maturing at 
age sixteen. 

What Up! 

It's me again, still in this place waiting for placement. 
My PO was trying to play me and have me cut my hair but 
it ain't gone happen. I am still shaken. I can't wait to get 
some cuttie 'cause I miss a female's touch and kiss. 

-Long Hair 

From The Beat: Well we hope that you don't have to wait too much 
longer to go to placement. We wish you the best of luck. We also hope 
that you don't have to come back to anymore facilities so you won't 
have to miss a female's touch for too long ever again. 

Hlgii Beaois 


My Plao 

I plan to go to school and do better on my schoolwork 
and get better grades. I plan on doing better in life, in 

I plan on getting out of here and not coming back 
because it is not fun in here. It's a waste of time and I 
can't wait until I get out. The food is nasty the shower is 
too hot! People don't listen I can't wait I can't wait. 

-Pancho Villa 

From The Beat: People don't listen you gotta listen. When you get out 
don't come back. Next time you think about doing things that^ gonna 
bring you here think about the nasty food, and the short hot showers 
you're gonna get. 


Once there was a girl name Jessica. 

She was driving down a dark deserted road, except 
for a car that Jessica was driving. And she looked in her 
mirror and she seen the truck, so she speed up and then 
she seen bright lights come on from the back where the 
truck was. 

She realized that it was his high beams. So she 
signaled him to pass her, but he stayed behind her and 
she kept driving. He hit his high beams again, so she 
speeded up until she arrived at her house, and she ran in 
and told her Dad to call the cops. 

He did and they both went outside and the truck was 
pulling up and her dad pulled out a shotgun and the guy 
jumped of his truck right when the cops pulled up. The 
cops arrested him and he said "hold on, look in the back 
of her car." So they open the trunk and there was a man 
in the trunk that had a knife in his hand. 


From The Beat: Man, this is a great story - where did you first hear 
it, and what did it teach you about life, and about what we should or 
shouldn't fear? Have you ever been in a situation where you were afraid 
of the very thing that ^tsk% trying to %SKve you? 


.-/rA/v#>^v mffwmmmj! ^/^/.^^ff 


Those Fools Aggravated Me 


A big achievement for me was leaving ROP (a group home) . 
It's a nine-month program, but I was there for 16 months 
due to the fact that I was getting into fights, like every 
other week. Most of the fights had to do with what I hold 
it down for. Me and my homeboys were outnumbered, but 
that didn't matter 'cause we kept it organized and went 
way harder than most them fools. 

That's not even the problem. The problem was the 
staff trying to get over on us. Every time I was starting to 
do good, the staff would do something to aggravate me. 
So I had to leave on my own will. 


From The Beat: So, help us understand how most of "them" were fools, 
but you're the one who had to do 16 months in a nine-month program. 
It sure makes u% wonder about that word, "fool..." Here^ something you 
may not have learned yet, but we've been around long enough to know 
that the aggravation the staff caused you will always be there, whether 
it's "the staff," "teachers," "the system," colleagues at a job, your boss, 
your family, etc. One critical part of growing up is learning how to deal 
wfith aggravation like that without hurting your own cause and your 
own future. 

rm Goiog To Do Better 

My achievements are to go home because I don't want 
to be in here. I want to be home with my family where I 
belong, not in this trap place. My achievements are to get 
a 2.50 or higher. Also to do better than I'm supposed to. 


From The Beat: Even thought this is short, we admire you for wanting 
to achieve something more in your life. You're right, you don't belong in 
this place. So, when you get out, make sure you never come back! 

Messin' With Yoor Block 


One day I wish I would survive the streets 

Gang related people firin' they heat 

And hangin' on the street claimin' yo' block or shakin' 

Yo' dread locks stay wit' yo' pops and you will see a lot 

of people smokin' rocks 

Gettin' high doing a lot of stuff 

Messin' with yo' block 


From The Beat: You've described your block, but not your own 
contribution to what goes on there. Are you part of the mess, or do you 
try to make things better? How? 



We'll Make Love 


Roses are true 

Violets are too 

You break my heart 

But I still love you 

I know I'm not legal 

Not just yet 

I watch at work 

And how you work them sweats 

Give me two more years 

And we'll make love 

Until, the end of time 

But until, then keep me in mind 

-Lil' Curt 

From The Beat: We had to change the first two lines of your poem 
slightly (because of our rules about colors), but other than that, it^ just 
Sk% you wrote it. 

I Im Wtat I li! 

X r 

I am what I am. I do good and bad things. I like to do 
things other people don't like to, like playing basketball a 
lot. I am what I am! I did bad things that I can't explain. I 
could only change the future but not the past. You either 
like me or hate me. I am what I am! 

-Dirty D 

From The Beat: Why do we either have to like or hate you? Can't we 
like some things about you, but not other things? if you cannot explain 
the "bad things" you have done, how can you change the future? Do 
you want to change your future? Why? How? Are you a good basketball 

Wheo I Get Dot 

What's good with The Beat? This that ninja Na-Na writin' 
about when I touch back down on the black. Man, my 
motto is "money" and more. 

But when I get out, I'm 'bout to go get with a female 
and do my thing until it's time for your boy to go get that 
cake. That's how we do on my side of town, you dig. 

But you know, when I get out, I'm about to try to 
achieve one goal and that is go to school. But y'all know 
I'm gone still be down for my dead homies. "We all we 


From The Beat: As we have told you countless times, we're not going 
to let you use The Beat to threaten stnyone, so we had to take out 
everything in you your motto following the word "money" and replace 
it with the one word, "more." If you can't respect u% enough to follow 
that simple rule, then why do you get so angry when we take out 
cliches like, "We all we got?" A cliche is a phrase or sentence that is not 
original, that everybody else u%e%, that doesn't come from your own 
mind, that is without much meaning beyond the fact that it's repeated 
and repeated. (Is American "the land of the free and the home of the 
brave" just because everyone %x^% it is?) And since The Beat is about 
your original thinking and not someone else's, we are tired of reading 
cliches. Still, because you think it^ disrespectful of u% to take out that 
phrase, we didn't take it out. Now; can you please give u% stn equal 
measure of respect. 

< I 

J L 

Liviog To Die 

What's up Beat? This your boy, Davey-D. But yeah, I'ma 
tell y'all some real shhh. Man, when you out tiiere on yo' 
block, do you know that we are "living to die?" You think 
that y'all won't be touched because the 'hood you claim 
and tJie ninjas you roll with. Just because you think that, 
y'all be having guns and y'all be shooting people. But 
remember this, and don't forget who you heard this from: 
We are living to die. 

I know a lot of people that were living good lives, 
taking care of they family, and they ended up getting 

So RIP to all my loved ones 

killed for some dumb shhh. 
that we lost in the struggle. 


From The Beat: We're trying to understand exactly what you mean, DD, 
but we're having some difficulty. If you mean that young people are 
dying because children have guns, then we can understand that. And if 
you're saying that good people get killed, too, we also can understand 
that. But what we can't understand is what you mean by, "We're living 
to die." The truth is, we all must die, whether we live good lives or bad 
lives, whether we're rich or poor, educated or not. It^ how we live that 
counts, is that what you meant to say? 

My Lady 

TWo months and one more year to go up in this box with 
three walls around my dreams and mind. 24/7 missing 
that one lady that make my day and make me smiley. 
That's my wifey, my baby, my lady, my pretty lady. Missing 
her hips, her way to show me that I'm somebody in this 
life, fo' show... 

Ten months together, with me in my life. Been with 
me in the ups and downs. Thank you, baby. 


From The Beat: You're very lucky to have a girl like this in your life. But 
since you do have someone so special, why would you give all that up 
for this box that you hate so much? If you want to be with her, what 
you lAfere doing obviously isn't ivorking for you... 


.-/rA/v#>^v mffwmmmj! ^/^/.^^ff 



X f 

A lot of people can achieve in a lot of stuff. I need to 
achieve in my life to change my ways around people. But 
I need to succeed to turn my life around and stay out of 
juvenile halls, stay with my family, my three sisters and 
my little brother. 

Right now thinkin' that I ain't never gone succeed in 
life and stuff, so I need to achieve in a lot of things. 


From The Beat: What are the "ways" you need to change around people? 
HoiAf are you iworlcing on achieving these changes? If you thinic you 
won't succeed, that is a real handicap to moving forward. In other 
words, your attitude toward what you can do (and what you can't do) 
may be the most important thing you need to change in order to achieve 
wfhat you want to achieve in life. We hope you keep working on these 
things, because your sisters and brother need you just siS much gks you 
need them. 

inn All Out 

What's good with The Beat? This your boy V chillin' in 
the halls, trying to get back to the block. 

Man, all this shhh is buUshhh, having me to wait 
for Glen Mills and shhh to come get me. I ain't trippin' 
though, 'cause all I need to know is that I'm getting out. 
Soon as I touchdown, I'm going all out, you dig. And at 
the same time I'ma be on my shhh. 

This to all, keep y'all heads up, and don't let your 
guards down at all times. Oh yeah, remember we do time, 
time don't do us, you dig. 


From The Beat: Instead of getting so worked up waiting for Glen Mills, 
we wish you were more focused on what you might be able to learn 
there that would make staying out of lock-ups more likely. Your focus 
on getting bade to the block hasn't been working very well for you (or 
you wouldn't be here answering to a bunch of strangers). If you think 
you already know everything you need to know, then you have a lot of 
groiAfing to do, since — even at our age — v/e knoiv ive'll never know all 
that we'd like to know. Can you do us a favor? Can you spend some time 
thinking about exactly what you mean when you say you're not letting 
time do you, and then write a piece telling us how you are doing time 
rather than the other way around? 

Lnnk Ont Fur Next Week 

I m a achiever succeeding in doing or gaining something 
with effort. Never failing, never giving up. And don't hate 
for you get beat up. I don't really got a lot to say but look 
out for next week. 

-Boi Boi 

From The Beat: Well, we agree that you don't have a lot to say, so we'll 
hold you to your promise of more next week. Never giving up is an 
achievement, but never failing is outside of human experience. We ALL 
fail, from time to time, which is iwhy never giving up is so important. 

Vote lir Presilent 


If I could vote for President, I would vote for myself, 
because I would make all laws fair. For example, I will 
make all men equal and there will be no more segregation. 
Also, there will be drugs legal. Furthermore, there will 
be guns allowed. Then I would train better police to get 
criminals and raise more funds. I would get more money 
for the poor and make the homeless a house. I will be a 
sick President. 

-Lil' A 

From The Beat: If you could accomplish just getting more money for the 
poor and building homes for the homeless, we would vote for you too! 
But where would you get the money to do these things? Why would 
you want to make guns legal? (In fact, guns are already legal. It^ in the 
Constitution, 2nd Amendment.) Do you plan to register to vote when 
you turn 1 8? You might be surprised to learn that, under our system, 
you can vote for yourself. You can write in the name of anyone you like 
— but only if you're registered to vote. 

If I Was President 


If I was President, I will let weed be legal and dope selling 
all day long. I will fire all the white police and ship them 
to Mississippi and leave the black police. And I will build 
a gun shop with every gun they make, and make my 'hood 
rich and bring my dead homies to life, and eliminate the 


From The Beat: We took out your promises of violence if you became 
President. When you write that you would "bring your dead homies 
back," that tells us (and everyone reading) that you are not serious. 
There is a time to play. There is a time to act like stn adult. This piece 
tells us that you're still waiting for that time to come... 

Eettini Mj GEO 


A big achievement for me would be getting out of juvy 
and getting my GED. That would be a big achievement for 
me because it would be a huge step for me in changing 
my life around. 


From The Beat: We want to encourage you to get your GED, because that 
wfould be a great achievement. But we also want to caution you that 
taking the lazy way out (writing two sentences in an hour workshop 
can only be described as lazy), is not a good sign for achieving your 
goal. Everything in life ivorth achieving takes effort. Time for you 
put some effort into it. 

»ur I 

Otaia Oier Bist 

I would vote for Barack Obama because he will be a 
better President than Bush ever was because he will stop 
the war in Iraq and help American citizens with their 
needs in life. 

-Ben I- 

From The Beat: Even though this is only one sentence, we're still 
putting it in The Beat because it shows you are thinking. But thinking 
requires more details, more explanation, more examples. Don't cheat 
us (and yourself) by taking the lazy way. We like your reasons for 
thinking that Obama will be a better President than Bush, but Bush 
cannot be President again. So, the choice now is between Obama and 
Hillary Clinton. Since she also has said she will stop the war in Iraq and 
help Americans with their needs, why do you like Obama better than 
Clinton? Those are the details we would like to read. 

What I'd Do As President 

If I became President, weed will be legal and dope will be 
legal until 5:00 in the morning. All the white police will be 
fired, an' all the brothers we be rich. 

If I was President, I will eliminate the KKK forever. And 
if I was President, I will go to New Orleans and put the whole 
city back and give New Orleans $1,000,000,000,000,000 
million dollars, so they could love yo' boy. Fat Pat. 

-Fat Pat 

From The Beat: Of course the people of New Orleans would love you if 
you gave them so much money, but where would that money come from? 
As for firing all the white cops, is that because you believe black and 
brown cops are on the up-and-up and only white cops do dirt? 

Voting For Anyone 


If I had a chance to vote for anyone in the world, I would 
vote for a staff here in juvy hall. He talks to me, talks to 
all, and he talks some real shhh... and I listen. But when 
I'm on the outs, I forget. But I will remember this time 
because I don't want to come back and I'm going to listen 
more, so I would vote for Mr. Gibson. Peace. 

-Lil' Sneaky 

From The Beat: This is a very nice tribute to Mr. Gibson. Maybe the job 
he is doing as a counselor is even more important than what he could 
do as President. We're glad you're listening to him and that what he 
says is helping you. 

mnnnME Mswmmm.4 ^ ^ / s ^ ^ 

//// // 

Another Homie Dead 

What's up with The Beat? You know who this is, it's Tray. 
Man, you ninjas know me. Y'all know how I get down. 
I'ma talk about hard times when yo' homies start dying 
and you can't do nothing about it. I'm about to do a long 

I'ma talk to y'all about my homie. Last night my big 
homie got shot and died at the hospital. 


From The Beat: First, we can't let you u%e the name you chose for 
yourself because of the number. Second, you have enough time to write 
something much more meaningful than this! We want you to think about 
the "long time" you're about to do, and the wish that you could "do 
something" about your dead homies. We know what that something is, 
but we wonder if you have connected the dots to see the relationship 
between what you want to do and what you have to do ("a long time"). 
What else does "hard times" mean to you besides friends dying on the 

I t I II ! i I I I I III I III I i I [ : ! : 

The Ranch Is Boring 

This is Lil' Morro, chillin' at LCR. Being here in jail is 
not fun, is bore, 'cause you got nobody and your family 
doin' good. Here in jail got nasty food, short ass phone 
calls. We ain't got no McDonald's. All we got is ugly deers, 
ugly turkeys, cows and ugly goats. 

-Lil' Morro 

From The Beat: Nobody wants to be bored, but what would encourage 
you more to stay out of stny mess, and stay free when you're home 
again? Remember, jail/the ranch is not a resort. We challenge you to 
mature up and handle your business like a young man! 

Getting Out And Stayino Out ^ 

Something I want to achieve is getting my fam bam out 
the 'hood and buy my mom a house. That's something I 
want to achieve in the next four years or five years. My 
life is not easy right now, but I'm trying hard to get on the 
right track. That's one thing I'm go achieve also — getting 
out and staying out of this place. 


From The Beat: We truly hope you achieve your goal of staying out of 
here once you touch down. We're sure you mom would like a new house, 
but we're also sure she wants you home whether her home is new or old. 
That foui^five year time limit you've set for yourself may not be realistic 
if you want to avoid coming to another place like this. Buying a house 
usually takes years of saving. But it is definitely something you can 
achieve, if you do it the right ufay. We hope you do. 

Get Ynur Plan Ready Fur When Ynn're Out 

What's up wit' The Beat? This is yo' boy, Enano, just 
handling business, trying to knock out this time I got 
left at the Ranch. But for all the people that are at the 
halls or 'bout to go to a grouper (group home), y'all better 
have a plan on what y'all 'bout to do. It will be better to 
finish yo' time, but if you're going to go out there and still 
do this same stuff, y'all 'bout to come back to the halls, 
best believe it. And stop telling yourself that you're not 
coming back to the halls. If you still doin' the same stuff, 
you're coming back. 

If you're a street souljah, stay in the game if that's yo' 
choice. If the streets were made for you, let it be, 'cause 
ain't no one gonna stop you. We live this street life for a 
reason, but if you ain't got no reason, stay out the game. 
Let the souljahs fight this war in 'Frisco. This is yo' boy, 
Enano, and I'm out. 


From The Beat: What would you consider valid reasons for anyone to 
stay in the streets and what would be invalid ones? Does each man or 
lAfoman decide for him/herself ivhether s/he should be and remain a 
soldier for life? How does someone drop out of the street life if s/he 
thinks s/he has had enough and chooses to move on into the world 
beyond the gang/street life? Do you already know what choice will you 
make, someday? 

Vnting Is Stupid 


Voting don't really catch my eye because other people 
my age isn't able to vote for about another two years. 
When I turn 18, I probably won't take the time out to go 
register for that stupid shhh. Now that's all I have to say 
about The Beat. 

-Lir Danny 

From The Beat: These little two sentence pieces just won't do for The 
Beat (and we won't publish such lazy efforts again). Why do you think 
voting is "stupid shhh"? Just saying it tells u% absolutely nothing. Do 
you complain about the cops? The PD? The judge? The Hall? All those 
are part of the government that we vote for (or against). Why should 
anyone care about your complaints if you can't even take the time to 
register and vote? 

* I 

My Mom M 111 Soil Drigs 

What's up. Beat? It's yo' boy. Menace, just chillin' up 
here, knockin' it, this baby time out, feel me? 

Well, today, Fm gon' be talk about who I am. Well, my 
name should say it all. I got the name 'cause I started 
early. I started when I was twelve years old, but I grew up 
in a drug house. My mom and dad didn't use the drugs, 
they sold them. 

When I was little, my mind was ahead of everybody 
else's and I already had my mind set on gettin' money the 
fast way and bangin' with the homies (I was only six years 

(The movie) "Blood In, Blood Out" really made me like 
the gangbanging life. (The movie) "American Me" was weak 
to me, but anyways, I've been around this environment 
my whole life. I can't see me anywhere other than the San 
Francisco Mission District. 


From The Beat: How did watching your parents sell drugs influence 
you? What have drugs already done to your family? Where are, how are, 
your parents now? Did you decide you'd rather do anything else than 
sell drugs yourself, or have you chosen to also sell them in the streets, 
too? How do you see yourself being successful sk% a gangbanger, but 
somehow avoiding the inevitability of prison or death? 

Real Smooth 


Man, my love story real coo'. 
For all the young ladies ma you with a real dude 

Young house real smooth 

This for The Beat so you suckas better stay coo' 

Me and my mammas do what Bonnie and Clyde do 


From The Beat: One thing Bonnie and Clyde did not do was get 
themselves locked up... 


If I Was Presideot 


If everyone could vote, I would be the President. If I was 
the president I would make sure all my homies would be 
in the White House blowing big. 

I also wouldn't be spending so much money on jails. 
It wouldn't be no more people sleepin' on the streets. It 
would be fat shelters for the fiends. 

And last but not least, if I was the President, nobody 
would be getting harrassed by the police. I'm outta here. 

-Young President 

From The Beat: As you should have guessed, we took out everything 
you wrote about your 'hood because colors always make u% nervous, 
even if you only meant to convey pride in your 'hood. But once you got 
serious in this piece, we admire the goals you would hope to achieve 
if you were President. But where would the money come from to pay 
for lAfhat you ivant? And why do you think you ivould be President if 
everyone could vote? How would you convince people who don't agree 
with your agenda to vote for you? 

ziMi'UiMkd^ mmsmmm J! ^ /^ / ^ ^ ff 

//// // 

The Streets 

The Beat Within: Sometimes it seems like no matter what 

some of your homies, and even you, down at the Ranch 

write and say about changing your lives when you get off 

the Ranch, so you won't ever get arrested again and get 

yourselves locked up again, really your hearts seem to be 

in the streets. It seems like that as soon as you're off the 

Ranch, as soon as you're free and back home again, you're 

headed right back to the streets, right? 

Enano: Yeah. It's (the streets) are fun. I ain't gonna lie. I 

hate to stay home when the streets are (live.) 

TBW: It almost seems like all of you sort of think the rest 

of your lives are dull, that you're bored at home, at school, 

that the real action, the drama, even the real fun for all of 

you is in the streets. Even though the lure of the streets 

includes the all the danger, the violence, but still, its really 

the fun of the streets that calls so many of you back there, 

regardless of how much you know those streets sabotage 

your lives, your freedom, your future, is that right? 

E: Yeah. 

TBW: But you already know how the streets can get you 

involved in all kinds of things that are illegal, that if you get 

caught and are arrested again, it's right back to juvy, now 

the Ranch, or worse. So why don't you, can't you, stay out 

of the streets? 

E: 'Cause they're fun. 

TBW: Okay, why don't you describe for The Beat what the 

streets are like for you? What about them is so much fun? 

E: I just like to watch people walking by. I watch out for 

trouble — fighting, getting jumped, shootings, girls try to 

come and chill with us, but I tell them to leave. 

TBW: What about the rest of your life? Whether it's as much 

fun as the streets are for you or not, what's it like? What's 

your family up to? Do you go to school? Do you have a job? 

Do you have a career you'd like to pursue? Or do you intend 

to stay in the streets forever, even when you become an old 


E: I don't go to school. When I was out, I'd hang all day. I 

didn't like school. I was on the run when I was a young ^\ 

teen. I quit school when I was in middle school. I don't ^ 

wanna go back to school. I educate myself. 

TBW: That's really interesting. Can you give The Beat some 

examples of how you educate yourself in the streets? What 

have you learned from hanging on your block? 

E: I watch people, their body language. The way they're 

acting. I can tell if a girl wants to fit in. She give me 


TBW: What else is there in your life, maybe something that 

interests only you but not your homies, maybe something 

you're good at, that maybe nobody knows you like to do 

or that you're talented at, besides hanging in the street? 

Maybe you're preparing for a career, so you'll have a life 

when you're grown beyond the streets. 

E: I want to be an electrician. 

TBW: Really? That's fascinating. Are you taking any classes 

down here (at the Ranch) to learn the things you need to 

know to become an electrician? 

E: No. I already know how to be an electrician. 

TBW: How have you learned? What have you learned? Who 

taught you? 

E: My dad. He's an electrician. Sometimes I go out on jobs 

with him. He taught me wiring, how to put in plugs, jacks, 

all that stuff. 

TBW: So you're dad's teaching you everything you need to 

know by showing you how to do it while he does it, like in 

somebody's house? 

E: Yeah. 

TBW: So you're learning on the job? And you enjoy your 

dad teaching you how to install wiring into a wall, all the 

things that electricians need to know? 

E: Yeah, but I don't want to talk about it right now. 


From The Beat: You often surprise u%. We don't always know what 
questions to asic you, so it's great when you help u% out with clues about 
who you are out of the streets. Maybe someday you can join your father in 
his electrician^ business and you can create a whole new life for yourself 
and even your own family and children that has nothing to do with the 

streets, liet Reidi 


What's up with The Beat? It's your boy Mike writing. I 
achieve my goal of getting out this year. It's a major goal 
I am succeeding because I been in and out of jail and 
placements since 2006. They tried to send your boy back 
to the Ranch for 15 months, but I took a deal to go to 
850 for three months. Now your boy touchdown in July 
instead of '09. So streets get ready. "We all we got." 

-Mike The Beast 

From The Beat: Maybe when you go to 850, you'll be exposed to new 
people and new thinking so you won't have to rely on tired cliche's like 
"we all we got." (You can look up the word cliche in your dictionary.) 
We're happy for you that you get out in July of this year, but if the streets 
are the only thing on your mind, be prepared for the consequences... 

r Voting For President \ 

I I feel like we need a new President for our state. I think 
I this because our President that that we have now is no 
good. That man is no good. I think he's the kind of guy 
that could do something hard. Just do it, you know what 
I mean? 


From The Beat: No, we don't know what you mean because you have not 
told u% what you mean. That is what makes a Beat piece. What would 
you like a new President to do? Do you care who the President is? Why? 
Will you vote when you turn 1 8? Why or why not? These questions are 


the details we want to know. 



r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 


rm in Santa Clara County right now and Fm surrounded 
by fakes in my unit. There's like these ninjas in my 
unit that ain't fake, including me. Ninjas in here don't 
know where they from, don't know what they bang, don't 
know if they black, white, or Mexican. I can't stand these 
people. When you catch them in a lie they try to go away 
instead of manning up and stop lying. Then these ninjas 
act all hard, but when you bang on them they want to be 
all quiet. But when people try to say they from where I'm 
from and they ain't, I get hot, and that's when I get on 
the' helmet. And they get all quiet I just be laughing hella 

For all you fake ninjas out there - do your homework 
before you rep something... you know what - just stop 
being fake! 


From The Beat: We can understand you being upset about somebody 
saying they're from your neighborhood when they're not. But in the 
end you have to stop tripping off of everybody else and worry about 
yourself. If you stop to trip off everybody that you claim is fake then 
you're never gonna have any time for yourself or for skn^ of the goals 
that you're trying to accomplish. Time is passing, and you have to figure 
out what you vtsknnsk do in life so you can have a roof over your head 
and put food on the table. Worry about yourself and quit worrying off 
other people. 

I Feel Good About... 

iir» ■ 

I The things I feel good about myself are that I speak up 
I my feelings. And I feel good about having a mother that 
loves me and is always there for me. I feel good about 
what I say, and the things that I have done that are good 
sometimes. I feel good about my health - that I have the 
best health ever. I thank God for everything. 


From The Beat: Good health, family, and good ivories - those are fine 
things to feel good about and to be grateful for. I 

What It Do Beat? 

Well, let's talk about my life. Well, people think I'm a 
bad kid but I know a lot of people that I kick it with. They 
think that all my homeboys and home girls do is get into 
fights and hit people up. When I go to school I don't go 
to my class and a lot of my people think I'm bad, but I'm 
not. It's like they don't know me and it's like anybody 
can say that when they don't know me. And it's like wow, 
but I don't care what tiiey say, cause they're not me. And 
someone said I got in a fight but I didn't and that's why 
I'm here. It's my time and it's like I didn't do anything, but 
I don't care. 

I got three more months. And when I get out I'm not 
going to hang out with the people no more, cause I'd 
rather learn, now that they don't care I'm in here. Now I 
start to think like no one cares where I'm at. And I like 
wow, I know not to hang with them now cause I want to go 
to school, and get a job when I can, cause I'm only fifteen. 
So, happy b-day to me. 

Ok now let me talk about something as achievements. 
Ok my dad paid for me to do football and my dad said that 
I wouldn't make it in football, but I did. I'm hella happy 
that I did it, so my dad feels like he owes me a lot of 
money. So now I think that was a great achievement. A lot 
of people think I won't be anything in life, but I don't. 


From The Beat: Who says you can't be something in life? Forget about 
what all those people say. Don't listen to them. People are always gonna 
talk even though they don't know stny better. All you gotta do is believe 
in yourself and you can do ivhatever you want. 



We Get What We Deserve 


Lookin' like a beast 

Straight out of a horror movie 

All the buUshhh you talkin' 

Don't sound efficient to me 

You don't even meet the equivalent of me 

So I look at you squares 

And think y'all funny 

'Cause I'm a rare ninja 

That's all about money 

My money perseveres 

Monday through Friday 

Not even mentionin' 

Saturday and Sunday 

But I'm gone get that money 

One way or another 

I connect to it like 

The ball and the string 

Some call it tether 

Keep my mom informed because I love her 

Dressed up in turf uniform 

Choppin' down the butler 

Relax little brother 'cause I will be back 

Ready to decide my plans for a new track 

If I don't make it I'm gone leave you with my last words: 

Every man gone get what he deserves 

-Young Cash 

From The Beat: Those last words are the truest you've spoken/But we're 
surprised they aren't making you chokin'/Those who keep doing what 
they did before/But believe that different consequences for them are in 
store/Are either kids or not in their right mind/So which are you, crazy 
or blind?/What^ so rare about you putting money ahead of mother and 
god/U.S. prisons hold more than any in the world — food for thought/ 
But "thought" is the last thing you're doin'/When thinking starts, maybe ■ 
you'll see what^ brewin' I 



I can't believe I'm here, all because of beer. My life is 
taking a bad turn, now all my respect I have to earn. 

I wanna go places I've never seen and go around 
the world. But to do things I wanna do I have to make 
sacrifices. One would be to put in time on a job and 
school. Stop doing things I wanna do that I think are fun 
that are getting me into trouble. I need to learn something 
that I could be really good at. 

Basically I have to do things in life that I don't want to 
do, to get things I do want - "Sacrifices." 


From The Beat: It sounds like you have some good plans for your future. 
You're right in acknowledging that success can take sacrifices — but 
those sacrifices are definitely worth it once they pay off. 

Locked lip 

I'm locked up and all I got is my words. 

I can't do anything. I guess I'm all out of verbs. 

Staring up at these walls, I feel alone in this world - 

a world full of hatred - always behind locked doors 

while these stupid attorneys show or feel no remorse. 

Always crying about some bull shh, always hating, never love. 

Why can't they look at the bright side, and give me a hug. 

What they don't know is they put a good man in cuffs! 

-Big Keno 

From The Beat: We believe they put a good man in cuffs too. But you 
know what... you must let all that drama slide. All these attorneys, 
judges, POs - this is only a small fraction of your life. But that's really 
up to you. It's up to you. After everything is said and done, and you 
do your time, it's goin' to be up to you to not come back and fall into 
the system again. It's going to be up to you whether you want to keep 
dealing ivith all these attorneys and judges. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Hey Beat 


Hey Beat Fd like to talk about how messed up you are. 
You never publish my shhh, what the fudge is up with that 
G? Well with all due respect y'all is whack, but whatever, 
you don't faze me. 

Stay up to all doing time. 


From The Beat: Whatever the reason we didn't publish your piece it 
might not be our fault. If you write a whole bunch of inappropriate 
shhh like killing people, and gangbanging on paper, or just simply 
not making %en%e in your piece then we're not gonna publish it. But 
also shh happens. Your piece might have got lost or something but we 
apologize for that. On another note we wish you the best of luck with 
the rest of your time 'cause you don't faze us eithei^ just kidding. We 
hope to hear from you soon or not. Your call. 

\ \ \ \ \ \ 

From The Beat: 

Ten Things I Feel Gnnd Abnut 

My son. 

I'm optimistic and 

Open minded and 


I have beautiful eyes. 

I'm a good friend and 

A good mom. 

I'm faithful and 

Honest and 


You should feel good about these qualities. 


Hooray for 

Time Fnr A New \n\ In Tiie Oval Office! ^ 

If everyone could vote that would be bad ass, homie! We'll 
have better presidents, and presidents will be different 
races like Mexicans, blacks, or Asians and so on. They 
(the voters) always pick the white people and that's why 
no other races try to even run for president. Also you 
got to be rich and over 35. If we had presidents that were 
different colors it will help because it would give some 
color in our world. 

Well Beat till next times. 


From The Beat: That^ why this year's election is so historical, we are 
so close to either having the first woman president in Senator Hillary 
Clinton, sk% well sk% the first African American in Senator, Barack Obama. 
This is skn exciting time! 

Tlie Gnod Life 


I'm 1,000 like 10 times lOOed 

I'm gone keep it real 

As solid as you want it 

No stories, given it to you simple 

But I will never be plain 

Pass me the bottle of Patrone 

Guaranteed I will forget you name 

My grind is top secret 

Go, you tryin' to find out my sequence 

Case I just go 

Livin' the good life, as you know 

Stay creepin', never speakin' 

About my dough 

Never goin' back to jail 

I'm not gone fall off, bro 

-Young Cash 

We hope you don't mind if we keep it real, too/But we l 

From The Beat: We hope you don't mind if we keep it real, too/But we 
don't believe your promises could possibly be true/"Stay creepin'" but 
"never come back to jail? Don't be a foo'!/lf you like takin' orders, seein' 
only boys, and eatin' trife/Then we have to agree with you: You're "livin' 
the good life!" 

\ I 


Tlie Incarceration Life Isn't Easy \ 

One of my achievements is to get out. I've been locked 
up for a year without getting out once. I've tried to get my 
credits while being in here, so when I do get out I could at 
least say I got something out of it. 

The system is just playing games with me, sending 
me here and then adding time on top of that. I went to the 
ranch two times and, I got failed. I was finally going to go 
home after doing 5 months at the ranch and that's just for 
weekends. Then I got failed. 

After being in here this long waiting to go home, my 
grandma said she doesn't want me living with her. So 
they rescheduled my court date because of that. Then 
probably they'll send me to a group home. 

I was going to just run but my mom's going to try and 
get legal custody of me. If she can't, I'll probably be locked 
up forever, until I'm 18, then live on my own because I'm 
not living in a group home. 


From The Beat: It seems you "were failed" a lot in the system. You have 
been let down a lot but it seems you might be failing the system sk% 
well. Instead of focusing so far on the future try to keep the next few 
steps in mind. Solve the problem of getting out of the system first by 
behaving well and working hard to get to the ranch and then get out 
of the system. 


Hey Beat! Well, I'm going to talk about the topic today 
because I achieved something that I'm glad I did. 

Some people think it might be stupid but when I was 
12 years old, I played softball for about four years. The 
team I was on was undefeated. We were all confident as 
a team because our coach keep us motivated. We were 
undefeated all through the season. The season was over 
so we had a ceremony with the whole league. We got first 
place. I was so happy because I was playing for a long 
time then the team I was finally got first place. 


From The Beat: Of course this isn't a stupid achievement. It sounds like 
you were very successful and you should be proud of it. Is there stn^ 
chance that you can play again? 

Grateful For Friends 

I've been here for about several months. This is the 
longest I've been in here. My squad's gone and my girl got 
failed. The week that all happened was looking messed 
up. Man, these females in here always talking, hell, me too 
after they got my girl failed. But my 'lil partners brought 
me back to my spirits. Because when all that went down, 
I was crying, I just felt bad, and I'm always a person who 
has a smile on my face. 

I'm very grateful for those girls. They listen to my 
problems and give me feedback all the time when I'm 
talking to them about my girl. They don't judge me or 
criticize me, and that makes me happy to know I got 
friends like that. They're friends that I can truly say that 
I could always count on in here and on the outs. And I 
never thought I could trust anyone I was locked up with. 

But yeah, its all good. I'm going to make it through. 
I have to go to the porch and then I'll be with my squad. 
I miss my girl, on the real. We some what have problems 
but I'll always love her and that's solid talk right there. 
Even if it doesn't last, I will always love her. 


From The Beat: Friends who will listen to you when you need to be 
heard, friends who will listen without making judgment, are good 
friends to have. Count your blessings. Good luck to you. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

I Can't Trust No One 

X f 

Hey, what's up with The Beat? This your girl Linda. Well, 
today rm gonna write a little something. 

Friends - ain't got none, because I can't trust no one. 
I have been taken advantage of by the person I trusted. 

One night I went to the homie's pad to kick it. One 
drink lead to another. Next thing you know, my homie 
took away my everything. Forced me to do what you 
wouldn't believe. Even had me kicking and screaming. I 
woke up the next day to the guy who raped me. He was all 
up on me acting like he didn't know anything. I felt sick 
to my tummy. Left his pad not even knowing I couldn't 
walk normal cause he hurt me badly. I didn't remember 
till the next day. I was sitting there when it hit me. The 
person I knew wasn't what he claimed to be. 

Now I don't trust anyone, because I was taken 
advantage of by the person I thought was my homie. 


From The Beat: Linda, what happened to you was wrong, in so many 
ways. Yes, it was a violation of your trust. But it was also a violation 
of the law. We understand that experiencing something so terrible 
could make you distrustful. But please believe u% when we tell you 
that most people do not behave the way your former "homie" did. 
You are punishing yourself and depriving yourself of the fruits of real 
friendship if you imagine that all guys would behave like that. Most 
guys do not behave that way. Exercising caution is important, but \V% 
also important to learn how to tell the bad fruit from the good. We 
urge you to talk with a trusted adult about what happened to you. The 
emotional damage can be sk% harmful sk% the physical damage. There 
are good people in the world, and you need them on your side. We do 
understand your reluctance to trust others. It's a natural response to a 
terrible event. Talking about it is part of the healing process. Please let 
u% know hoiAf you're doing. 


Close Call 

What's up Beat, it's me Luis, going to finish the story 
from last week. 

When my brother was choking me and I would 
breathe everything stopped. My heart stopped beeping. I 
stopped breathing and I could hear nothing until he let 
me go. I didn't even feel it when I fell to the ground. When 
he let me go I was dead. Then I started hearing the TV 
and started breathing. My heart started beeping. When I 
opened my eyes I was on the fioor. Then I got up and I was 
like what the hell? Then I started chasing him around the 
house. Then I got him and I got him back. I beat the hell 
out of him. When my mom stopped us, my brother got 
grounded. Then I was in the living room watching TV and 
it was a good day. That's all I got to write. Late. 


From The Beat: Why do you and your brother play like that? That's 
dangerous. What would have happened if you didn't start breathing 
again? You would have been dead! Y'all need to be careful. 


Hell yeah, it will be different if they let felons vote 
because there's hella people locked up and they will make 
a difference. 

Yeah, I do think they would be different laws for the 
people that get in trouble. 

I think that immigrants should be able to vote 
because they work hella hard and this used to be part 
of Mexico. So therefore, they can vote for some new laws 
for the immigrants. I think hella immigration laws would 
change and everything would be good. 

-Young Politician 

From The Beat: You are right to recognize the large number of felons 
that are locked up in America. There are so many laws that have to do 
with how these people are treated so it would make %en%e that they 
would get a right to vote. And yeah, California was a part of Mexico - 
another great point. Have you ever thought of being lawyer? 


If Everyone Voted 


Yes, I think the law would be different if everyone 
voted. Immigrants would be able to decide about what 
benefits them, when it comes to voting. I think it goes for 
felons, too. When voting, people usually would look for a 
president that suits them. 

11 in all - it's the same. With fresh blood running for 
president, something different might happen. 


From The Beat: It seems like a lot of the country and young people 
are excited about this "something different" that you are talking about i 
here. But do you think it is about a person or the system? I 

Confessions Of A Car Thief 

Stealing cars with my magic keys from Hondas to 


Stealing cars was an everyday mission 

With my money making skills 

From car systems and rims turning them into 100 dollar 

bills Whether it was day or night that's what kept me 


It was my everyday job 

But finally I got caught 

Now I'm in juvenile hall 

Surrounded by these brick walls 

When I can be out stealing cars or getting in high speed 

chases Looking in my mirror seeing the cops' stupid 


Making sharp turns 

'Cause the car tires I like to burn 

My confession of a car thief has come to an end. 


From The Beat: We hope that your acts sk% a car thief have come to skn 
end too. Stealing cars is only gonna get you in trouble. How would you 
like it if your car was stolen? That's not coo', people need their cars to 
get around. How would you like it if you had to take your grandma to 
the hospital and you wake up the next morning and your car is gone 
cause somebody stole it? Think about it. Why don't you earn your own 
money to buy a car? People work hard to buy cars and pay the bills. 
They don't need thieves to make it difficult for them. 

My Music 

The most difficult thing I achieved is learning to make 
music. I learned how to play the piano and make good 
music that could make people dance. 

I also performed at clubs, talent shows, and a lot of 
paid shows. 

What most surprised me was that when I went and 
performed at my 1st talent show, my group GYB3 didn't 
even have our original copy. We had to perform from 
scratch on a whole different beat and one of our members 
was missing. That was hella cool. We won some money 
and people were running up to us trying to give out they 
number so we could date. That was one of my personal 


From The Beat: Music is a great achievement and can bring you great 
success. It seems like you have great incentive about getting out of the 
Hall: Going back to all your fans. 

Aciiieve Hoose Arrest 


What up. Beat? What I wanna achieve is to pass my three- 
month house arrest, because I'm gonna hella be tempted. 
So, we'll see what happens. Wish me luck y'all. 


From The Beat: This will be a major achievement because you will have 
to really make a change. What is your plan to achieve this? Perhaps if 
you really think about having a strategy while you are in here, achieving 
your goals will be easier on the outs. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Them Days, Or Is It Daze? 


Dazed, thinking of the past. 

I had a blast 

being high was all I knew best. 

Surroundings was a blur 

I think I grew up too fast. 

Time goes by, 

everyone comes and go. 

Forget a boyfriend 

they are all faulty 

you know? 

Enough said 

its just gonna be me 

and my girl deedee, 

against all. 

I love you ma. One love. 


From The Beat: This is a side little flow. Even though it^ short, it drops 
a lot of wisdom and tells u% a lot about you and your life. 

Love In The Eyes of a Homeoirl 

Sitting in this hell hole, 

wondering what I could do 

as I lay on my bed 

all I think 'bout is you. 

Hours go by 

but they feel like days. 

Each moment without you is just a heartbeat away. 

Each day that goes by I feel as if we're farther apart, 

but my love for you will never part. 

So when I'm alone in my room, and I'm thinking of you 

I wonder if you miss me and you really do care. 

I love you and I need you and without you there's no me 

but when I get out of here I know our hearts will be 

together forever. 

-Sad Eyes 

From The Beat: Another touching love poem from the ladies - thanks 
for sharing the way you feel. Writing is a great way to express yourself 
to a loved one. 

GEO ichieitieit 


My achievement was accomplishing my GED and my 
new long-term goal is to go to college for 2-4 years. I'm 
going to try and get a job at juvenile hall but it might not 
work, because I got some serious felonies. So hopefully 
they don't look at my juvenile record. I'm going to see 
what happens though. I'll get it sealed but I think they 
can still look at it. I'm outskies. 


From The Beat: Hopefully it will work because it seems like you would 
really understand what some of these young people would be going 
through, and that might be really different than a counselor who never 
got in trouble. 



I really want to be a model. I think taking modeling 
pictures are very pretty and a wonderful feeling. I was 
gonna be a model, but my grades weren't very good. 

In order for me to be a model or take modeling pictures, 
I have to have a 2.0 or higher. I can't have anything lower 
then a 2.0 or I can't be a model. When I get out I want to get 
good grades, and hopefully I can sign up for modeling. 


From The Beat: Well, this seems like a great goal to work towards - 
especially since you have to keep your grades up to do it. Good luck, 
maybe we'll see you on America^ Next Top Model. 

Achieve Gettlog Along With Family 

One thing I think is an achievement to me is that I got 
to get along well with my family, because we have lots of 
problems. Separately, a lot of my family has problems ... I 
have a dad, a step-dad, brothers and sisters from different 
dads. They are all my half brothers. 

My sisters and my brothers don't get along with my 
step-dad. They fight and move out of the house and I 
always try to keep everything cool. It's like I can make 
peace for my family. 

Another thing I've achieved is gaining credits for high 
school - at least I have enough to graduate next year 
because I'm doing all my schoolwork and I think that's 


From The Beat: Being a peacemaker in a family is a really important job 
and often a difficult one. This is a great achievement. Good luck with 
school, too. It sounds like you would make a great counselor - perhaps 
take the skills you have at home into the community. 

\ I 

The CASIEE IcbieneiGit 

Hey Beat, I'm gonna tell you what I achieved without 
knowing that I did. I didn't think I could ever pass the 
CASHEE. I always thought I wasn't smart enough but I 
always had said I was gonna graduate high school. So 
when I went to placement, I took the CASHEE without 
studying. I forgot all about it. So when they said they have 
test scores, I was like what test scores? They told me I 

All I have to do is catch up on my credits and I'll 
graduate next year. I want to be a nurse for babies and old 
people. So, that's my next achievement. Thanks Beat for 
listening to my good news. 

I just wanna say - to all - keep your head up and don't 
give up if you want to graduate - you will. Well alrato. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you didn't even know how smart you 
actually are, so you should take advantage of it and complete your 
education and move forward to nursing school - which is so important. 



Why is the system so corrupted? People get locked up 
for petty stuff - crimes they didn't even commit. Honestly 
what happens to innocent until proven guilty, if that was 
true why do people get locked up while waiting for court? 
This place sucks. Really - all I can do is sit here and wait 
till I'm out. 


From The Beat: That's skn interesting question - why are you locked 
up before you go to court? Maybe you should think about becoming a 
lawyer since you are so familiar with the justice system. 


J L 

Achieve Probation 

I hope to achieve finishing probation when I get out 
juvie this time. I also want to get a job and raise my kid 
like a good father and be there for my lady. I want to buy 
her a house and marry her. This is what I want to achieve 
because my father didn't do this and I want to break the 
chain off that and just basically be there. 

Also, I want to show everyone who doubts me that 
I can do it, especially punk-a— probation officers and 
judges and DAs. 


From The Beat: Breaking the chain of iwhat our parents did is difficult, 
but even recognizing that you are in danger of becoming your father is 
a step away from that future. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Whit I Feel 

X f 

Well what's cracking Beat? Me, just posted up in the 
Hall. Just waiting for my release day which is July 1st. 
I've been down since December 6, 2007 so that's a pretty 
long minute, so it's going to be kind of weird to just leave 
from this place and get used to the outs, but my hopes 
are up there. 

I am eighteen already so this is my last time around 
these Halls. Next time I am next door in county jail, but 
that shhh ain't going to happen. 

As soon as I am out I am out for good. The Beat asked 
me how am I going to stay out. Well I said I have a job 
planned out, I am going to got to church and stay busy all 

Well I don't got much to say but to all up in those 
other units to keep their heads up. Much love and respect, 


From The Beat: Sounds like you have a plan come July. However, we 
also want to hear about your goals, your dreams. Without skn^ barriers, 
how would you carry out your life? What career would you most like 
to pursue? is a family in your future, or is that too far down the road 
for you to consider? Tell u% about it this week if you are so inclined 

Geiei te CVI 

I I 

Hey what up Beat, this is "Playboy" coming from the 
tightest unit. 

I'm gonna talk about me getting sent to CYA. I got 
sentenced on February 5th, am gonna be gone for two 
years up in Preston. 

It surprised me when I got sentenced to CYA. My family 
is surprised too, also stressing and depressed. One thing 
though, I got to do my best in CYA and get out. I thought I 
would never get sent there, but never say never, two years 
ain't long, but it's a waste of time. So I should be leaving 
in one month and start my time and get out and do good, 
get back on track, like the last time I got out. I could use 
my time in CYA, instead of wasting it, by getting my High 
School diploma; I'm really close too. 

Also gonna try to get college classes while I'm in 
there. Then work out of course and just get educated in 
the books so I could bring it back to the outs. Also, one 
more thing, learn how to write poems. 

So I'm gonna end this with respect and love to all my 
boys. Oh yea, stay up, see you soon. Can't keep a good 
man down, ha ha. 


From The Beat: CYA is certainly a drag, but it sounds like you have 
a strong family to support you through in your challenges ahead, it's 
great that you have such focused goals. What will be next after that 
diploma? if you haven't thought about it, dare to dream a little bit and 
let u% in on your long-term goals. 

If Everyone Could Vote, Doesn't Make A 

I don't think it will make a difference if immigrants could 
vote, because even as American citizens our votes don't 
count. All of our votes just go to the electoral college. All of 
the votes of the people are popular votes and the electoral 
college votes are the ones that choose the president. So 
convicted felons, immigrants, or U.S. citizens - it doesn't 
make a difference. 


From The Beat: in a way, you're right - the electoral college system 
makes it seem like our individual votes don't count but it is still a way 
to make our voice heard, it sounds like you are fed up with the system, 
but lAfhat do you think of ^tss^% to change it? 

\ I 

What I Want la Ictiave 


What I would like to achieve in my future is to get off 
probation. I would also like to achieve getting my high 
school diploma because that is what I always wanted. The 
fact is that I have almost all my credits. 

I will be taking my CAHSEE testing in here in March 
next month. I have to just focus on my program and 
finishing my four months that I have to go. I'm out. 


From The Beat: it seems like you have your whole education plan down, 
which is a big achievement. Now you just have to work it out. 

My Achievemeflts 

One thing I'm proud of achieving is I finally got to play 
for a high school football team and got to start the whole 
season because I worked my ass off in the workouts 
before the season started. But, in the end, I had a good 
season and became defensive player of the year. 


From The Beat: Nice! Congratulations on your achievement. Often, the 
achievements we work on the hardest are the most memorable and 

Wishino She Was Here 

I wish that my girl was here with me. I miss her so much. 
I know that this is off topic, but I ain't feeling the topics 
tonight. So I decided that I'm going to write about my 

My girl is so special to me. When I'm with her, I feel 
untouchable. All my worries go away and I don't have a 
problem in the world. She make me feel so brand new - 
she is it. I don't know how else to explain her. I miss her 
so much - it's ridiculous. I can't wait to see her. That's all 
I got to say, I love you girl and know I'm thinking of ya. I'm 


From The Beat: When someone makes you feel untouchable, you knoiw 
you've found someone special, it seems like she is a real motivation to 
you for getting out. 


Baat Witbia 

I Q-onda Beat? My latest achievements have been getting 
hall time. I got six months hall time and I'm getting out 
in July. I've been here for three months so far and have 
about five more months to go. Well, it's an achievement to 
me because in the last two years I've been failing ranch, 
placements and everything else. But now I finally got hall 

I time and have a release date. 

From The Beat: We're not sure if getting hall time is exactly stn 
achievement in the true %en%e of the word, but perhaps doing the time 

I here will help lead you to greater achievements sk% you have time to 

I think about your life. 

lata All Vata! 

I think everyone should be able to vote, even the convicted 
felons - because they live in this country and it's going 
to be their president. I just feel that the immigrants 
shouldn't be able to vote because they here illegally and I 
know that we can't go to they country and vote. 


From The Beat: You %x^ felons should be allowed to vote because they 
live here, but immigrants also live here - so by that reasoning shouldn't 
they be allowed to vote, too? 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

A Huge Achievement 


What I want to achieve is to first graduate and get a high 
school diploma and go to college and come and work here 
at the hall and be an inspirational counselor to someone 
and maybe help someone in the future and maybe give 
him more options then I have now. 

-Future Youth Worker 

From The Beat: You're right, being an inspirational counselor seems like 
it could really help someone in trouble - especially if you have a similar 
background or experience sk% them. 




My Achievements 

Back frnm C.Y.A 

What's up Beat this is Angel once again in the unit. I 
haven't been here in about two years. I been at CYA and 
got released December 14th, got here February 2nd. I 
was out for two months. That's messed up but I wasn't 
thinking right, I stole a car with one of my homies and 
got caught up and now they can't send me back to CYA 
because I maxed out from there. They are trying to give 
me five to seven months of Hall time. 

To all people who read this it is not worth it to steal 
cars and do stupid stuff like that. I been comin' to the Hall 
since I was twelve and now I'm turning 16 on Valentine's 

I went to CYA for having a shank in the Hall. I was only 
fourteen when I went to CYA. I was fighting a lot in there. I 
got these new gang new dots on my face and got stitches 
in my lip and somebody put gas in my water bottle in 
there. It ain't no joke in there. But not all the stories are 
true. There are no stabbings...well once in a while only a 
few staff assaults and about four or five riots a year. When 
I was there I was in twenty-four fights, lost about eleven 
and was in one riot. All I got to say to my homies is don't 
trust nobody. There I met like eighty homies and only 
trusted the homies from Morgan Hill and Redwood City. 

Now that I'm back in the Hall I hate it. My homie from 
Santa Clara is going to the Ranch. Good luck, just do your 
time and get out as soon as possible. All right then Beat, 
'til next time. 


From The Beat: It is stn important step to realize the error of your ways 
and seek to correct it. Two more years inside is a stiff punishment, 
meaning that you will exit the system sk% skn adult. You mentioned the 
need for others to earn your trust, but what other life lessons have you 
learned during your time served? Educate those of us who have been 
fortunate enough never to go through your experience. 

Today I'm going to talk about achievements. What I want 
to achieve is to be a mechanic with my dad and get a lot 
of money. 

Also, to live with my mom and get off of probation. 
Buy myself a nice car and customize it so all the homies 
would go places with me. That way they don't have to 
worry about getting pulled over by a cop 'cause it's not 

Anyways that's all until next week. Peace. 


From The Beat: Well achieve your goals and don't let anything stop 
you. We're glad to hear you change your way of thinking. We're glad to 
see you directing your life into a more positive direction. Keep up your 
positive attitude it will take you a long way in life. 

Voting Barack 

If I were to vote, I would vote for Barack Obama because 
he is a man. Hillary Clinton couldn't control her man - 
so she probably couldn't control the USA. Hillary also 
changed her mind about taking the troops out of Iraq, 
and that's all bad. 


From The Beat: Well, Bill Clinton couldn't control himself and he was 
still a pretty good president? Does your woman control you? 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ mswMM/m 

^mammmmmmr ^/^/ ^' 

Waiting, Wisliing 

Sitting in the room, 

staring at the walls, 

thinking of what I've done, 

waiting for the evening program to start, 

so I can call my mom, 

telling her that I miss her. 

Fm waiting for my court day. 

I wish I were home instead. 


From The Beat: If you were home, what would you do differently? 
Clearly, you don't want to make a career out of spending time in jail. 
What are the first changes you will make when you get home? 

Wasting Time 

The sky is blue. 
Every day I think of you. 

I call you my boo. 

I give you hugs and kisses 

but I have anger 

'cause you bug me. 

They say you are in danger 

but they lie. 

Now I am locked up 

wasting the time of my life. 


From The Beat: Having a loved one to think about can be a very 
comforting thing. You have a lot to go home to. You said it: being 
locked up is wasting your time. What changes do you need to make so 
you can start living your life more constructively? Are there apologies to 
be made? What do you need to do to make things right? 

My Aliievement 


The main achievement I want to accomplish is graduating 
from high school and going on to college. I know it's going 
to take a lot of work and dedication, but I know I can do it 
if I set my mind to it. I want to make my family proud of 
me for the first time in a long time. 

I want it so bad because that is what will get me my 
dream job: working on bikes like Choppers or racing 
bikes such as Suzukis. Hopefully I can make it and then 
say that it is one of my accomplishments. 


From The Beat: You have all the right parts to this plan: a way to 
get there, the realization that it's going to be hard work, a passionate 
motivation, and the reward at the end. There^ nothing quite like 
accomplishing something that you've worked long and hard for and 
seeing the pride of your family. Good job. Keep your mind focused and 
get it done. 

An Interview Alinnt "Aciiievement" 

The Beat: What would you consider your greatest 


Albert: Baseball. I hit the most home runs in my league. 

I'm a good base stealer. I'm a pitcher and have a good 

fastball- 74 MPH! I have a decent slider, a good curveball, 

and a good slowball - it seems that that ball hardly 


The Beat: What has baseball taught you about life? 

Albert: It's taught me that there's money to be had, along 

with fame and girls. 

The Beat: Have you thought seriously about becoming 

a pro? 

Albert: I've thought about it but I want to be a contractor. 

I'd build everything and have my won business. I've had 

some experience helping to build a house. It came out 

nice, too. 

The Beat: What have you learned in the hall that will help 

you later in life? 

Albert: I've learned to love my life and that freedom in 

a precious thing. When I get out, I'm going to look for a 

real job which will take up all of my energy. 


From The Beat: Baseball can teach u% a lot about life - working hard, 
making a plan, cooperating with others, and yes, that there are rewards 
for our efforts. The contracting business is also a good profession. Take 
what you've learned here - your appreciation for life, and apply it to 
your work. You'll go far. 

If Everynne Cnnld Vnte 

If everyone could vote the world would be put in the 
ground. If younger people could get help to pick the right 
people to vote for, then it would be good. If people vote 
not knowing what they are doing, just voting for someone 
they don't know about, then they are going to mess 
everybody up. That's not going to be funny. 


From The Beat: You're right - people need to be informed to make a 
wise choice. Your informed vote can make a real difference in creating 
change and alleviating a lot of the suffering in this world. Make sure 
you retain your right to vote by staying straight. Educate yourself so 
you can make a positive impact. Work hard. Do well. 

On Voting For President 


If I could vote I would vote for Hillary Clinton because she 
would help out the immigrants and the public schools. 


From The Beat: Casting your vote for these important issues can truly 
change the lives of countless people in need, and change the world. 
Make sure to stay on the path that will allow you to make your voice 
heard, it does matter. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmMHmm jf / ^ ^ 

//// // 

Dear Beat Within 

X f 

Today I'm going to write about how it's been going good for 

I've been locked up for four months, and I found out 
that the girl I loved cheated on me with one of the dudes 
from a different hood, one of my enemy's, but it don't matter 
because I think it was meant to be. 

Being in here has made me realize about what I want in 
life and how I've matured more. 

I've met a beautiful girl in here and we are going out when 
I get out and I hope we do have a good relationship. 

I'm going to do well by getting my GED and get a career 
to be an architect and make a good life and stay out of jail. 

Laters Beat, I might be out by next week so peace. 

- Anthony 
From the Beat: One word stands out more then stny other in your 
writing. "Matured" the question we have is, have you matured? The 
first thing you mention is your enemy from another hood? With this 
comment it sounds iiice your still in the gang life. It^ good you talk 
about a good carrier and a GED, but remember talk is cheap. Prove to 
every one you can do it. 

Love Came And Went 


Before I came into the Juvenile hall 

We were closer then ever 

We went to the mall and moves 

We would watch the sun set 

We had it all 

Didn't care what people thought 

We were young and in love 

Then I ended up here 

She was cool with it 

She was willing to wait for me 

Until she talked to my ex 

My ex filled her head with a lot of lies 

She wrote me telling me what's up? 

Now she don't want anything to do with me 

- King Henry 
From The Beat: it's too bad you had to get the "Dear John" letter, yet 
maybe its better that you got it now and not later. Now focus your 
time and energy on getting out of detention, because once you get out 
remember the old saying. 'There are always plenty of fish in the %esk." 


To the Beat Within, hello my name is Erica. 

I've been locked up in here for a month. 

I'm a young mother of a little boy 

who is one year old. 

He's my world. 

I hope that I get out this Friday. 

I hope everything goes good for me. 

I am going to get my GED 

when I get out, and just stay home and be a good mom to my 

Thanks for listening to me. 

From The Beat: This was short, and would have been nice to hear more. 
The only thing you mention about achievements is that you're going to 
get your GED, and be a good mom. This is a lot easer said then done, 
if you get out of Friday let vl% know how things are going once you get i 
out. I 

[ i I II 1 II II I t a a I i: 

Being Tiiankfui 

Today I want to write about how much I thank the Lord 
for showing me His will in court. 

Today I almost got committed for two years for 
violating my probation. I kept praying to the Lord so He 
could show me His will. They told me that I'll be going to 
a treatment center for 3 months. That's why I thank the 

- Anthony 

From The Beat: Prayer is one of the strongest forms of hope and we're 
glad you're doing it. We want to see you get back on the right track and 
make a good life for yourself. 


Dear Beat Witliln 


Today Fm going to write about how good the day has 
been. Today I went to court and it went good because the 
Judge was being pretty cool and let me get out on the 
Community Custody Program. 

The thing is the people at CCP haven't come to 
interview me yet. Hopefully they come pretty soon. 

To stay out of jail I will have to complete CCP and get 
my GED and get a good career, so I can get money for my 
son and me. 

- Elmer 

From The Beat: \tt good to know you have a plan when you get out, but 
remember your son doesn't need just money he needs you. Do what you 
have to so you stay out of jail, this way you can take care of your son 
and excel in you career. 

Aciiievements in My Life 

Well what I have achieved in life is that I graduated in 
middle school, and I also achieved honor roll because I 
did what I had to do to receive my honor roll. 

What I would like to achieve in life is a master's degree 
and become successful in life. 

I would also like to become a Judge to make money 
and to have kids so that I can support them with the 
money I earned. 

I would also like to help my mother with the things 
she needs help with because I don't want her to be old 
and not have any one around. 

- Sidney 

From The Beat: This sounds like a great plan when you get out. You for 
one know you can do it because sk% you said before, you knew what you 
had to do to get what you needed done. Keep to your plan and show 
yourself and every one you love you can change.- 


To me love is a strong word, 

it's a word that could lead to hate. 

Love takes on being truthful, 

honest, and having deep feelings for another person. 

I have been in love only one time, 

and I expressed different ways and showing it. 

That's what came to having my beautiful daughter. Right 

now loves a thing that I can't find in someone. The only 

love I have is for my daughter, 

being there and first seeing her 

made all my love pour into her heart. 

Till this say none of that has changed, 

I will always love her with my all my heart. 

- Amber 

From the Beat: And you should love your daughter with all your heart, 
and continue loving her. The only problem is you can't do what you say 
while you are locked up. Find it in yourself to get your life straight if 
not for you do it for your daughter. We are quiet sure you don't want 
your daughter growing up seeing their mother in prison? 

int I 

Tiie Game I Loved 

One achievement I made was when I made the football 

My family was happy, and so was I even though I was 
third string I was still happy to be apart of something. 

When I used to play in the games they never put me 
in the game because I was too short. I really didn't care to 
play, and I was just happy to be on the team. 


From The Beat: One of the best feelings is simply being apart of 
something, something that is important to you. One question, in the 
title 'The Game I Loved" did you put 'loved' because you no longer care 
for the game or was there another reason? 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

Me Reclamo 

Siempre me anda reclamando a mi mismo porque no 
supe lo que hice. Por eso estoy encerrado. Aveces le 
reclamo a mi hermano. 

Aveces le pido a Dios que nos ayude para ya no hacer 
cosas malas porque Dios es el linico que te puede ayudar 
a salir de aqui. 

From The Beat: £Por que le reclamas a tu hermano? £Ha sido el unsk mala 
inf luencia en tu vida? £Que has aprendido de lo que ha vivido? 

My Blame 

I blame myself for not being aware of what I did. That's 

why I'm locked up. I also blame my brother some times, j 

Some times I ask God to help me not do bad things I 

because God is the only one who can help me get out of I 

here. ' 

-Henry, Marin 

From The Beat: Why do you blame your brother for your mistakes? Has 

Lhe been a bad influence in your life? What have you learned from what I 

you have lived? I 


AloOn DIa 

Orale carnales, les digo que tengan esperanza porque 
algiin dia vamos a salir de este lugar. Quiero salir 
afuera o que me inscriban en un programa. Tal vez me 
manden afuera de aqui, a Los Angeles para estar con los 
camaradas o con los carnales. Asi que tengan esperanza 
y mantengan su cabeza arriba. 

From The Beat: O %esk que todo lo que quieres y piensas es en estar con 
tus camaradas y carnales. Deberias de tomar este tiempo para pensar 
en los errores que estas cometiendo. Si segues con la misma mentalidad 
que llebas, no MSk% llegar muy lejos en la vida. Use tu mente para pensar 

Some Day 

Hey brothers, I'm telling you to have faith because one 
day I'll get out of here. I want to get out or to get into a 
program. They may send me to LA and I'll be with my 
friends. So keep your hopes and your head up. 

-Jose, San Francisco 

From The Beat: So all you want is a chance to be with your friends 
again. You should take this time to really think about the errors you are 
committing. If you keep the same mentality, you won't get to far in life. 
Use your time to think positively. 

Se lieroi 


Esto me paso cuando tenia ocho afios en mi pais. Fue 
un amigo mio. Cuando me vio en el suelo, me recogio y 
me llebo para la casa de mi abuela que ya se murio. Yo la 
queria tan to pero se fue como a mi padre y a mi abuelo. 

From The Beat: Nosotros sentimos mucho tus perdidas. Tienes que tener 
en cuenta que nosotros nacimos para algun dfa irnos como ellos. Antes 
que todo, la vida que decidas vivir, es la vida que tu mismo formaras. 
£Entonces dinos, que hay en tu futura vida? 

They Left 

This happened when I was eight years old in my country. 
It was a friend of mine. When he saw me laying down 
on the ground, he picked me up and took me to my 
grandmother's house who is already dead. I love her so 
much like my dad and grandfather who are also gone. 

-Jose, Marin 

From The Beat: We are very sorry for your losses. You have to be strong 
and also have to keep in mind that we are born to leave like they have. 
But before all, the life you decide to live is the life that you will build. 
So, tell us, what do you see in your future life? 

//// // 


Este Luoar 

La linica forma de estar furioso es estar furioso. Yo me 
pongo furioso porque estoy encerrado. 

En todas formas pienso en mi mama y especialmente 
en toda mi familia. Toda mi familia se me viene a la 
cabeza. Por eso ya me quiero ir de aqui. Ya no quiero 
venir a este lugar nunca jamas. Es todo lo que tengo que 
decir. Espero y tengan un buen dia. Es todo. 

From The Beat: Que te quedes afuera o vuelvas a este lugar depende de 
ti y de nadie mas. Las opciones MSktt a estar ahi siempre, Yiuensk% y malas, 
y eres tu el unico tiene el derecho de escoger lo mejor o peor para ti. 
Todo esta en ti. Tu decides! 

This Place 

The only way for me to be furious is to be furious. I get 
furious because I'm locked up. 

Anyways, I think about my mom and especially my 
whole family. All my family members come to my mind. 
That's why I want to get out of here. I don't ever want to 
come here. This is all I have to say. I hope you have a 
great day. It's all. 

-Erivan, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: Whether you want to stay out of here or in, depends in 
you and nobody else. The options will be present at all times, good and 
bad, and you are the only one who has the power to choose what better 
or worse for you. You decide! 

Ouiero Estar Con Mi Jefecita 


Yo tengo miedo perder a mi jeflta porque yo a ella la 
quiero hasta morir. Tengo mucho miedo de perderla. 
Por mi culpa, ella ha sufrido mucho cuando estoy en las 
calles banging con los amigos. Pero saliendo de aqui voy 
a ser mejor que antes porque quiero cambiar mi vida. 
Ya quiero estar siempre con mi madrecita querida que 
la quiero mucho. Tambien quiero a mi jefecito a quien 
tambien he hecho mucho sufrir. 

Ellos siempre estan conmigo en las buenas y en las 
malas. Yo nunca voy a dejar de pensar en ellos. Donde 
quiera que se encuentren, los quiero mucho. Jefecitos, 
ustedes son mi vida. Yo sin ustedes no seria nadie en mi 
vida. Tambien quiero mucho a mi lil' carnalito. 

From The Beat: Que bien que skunx\ue sea reconoces todo el sacrificio 
y el efuerzo que han hecho por ti. Esperamos que este tiempo te 
ayude refleccionar en las cosas que estas haciendo y pensar mas en 
los sentimientos de las personas que realmente te han dado vida y 
todo lo que tengas. Se nota el querer hacia tu familia, ahora aplicarlo y 
demuestra tu amor hacia ellos. £C6mo? Esa respuesta tu lo sabes. 

I Want To Be With IVIy IHotiier 

I'm scared to loose my mother because I love her to death. 
I'm very scared to loose her. Because of me, she suffers a 
lot when I'm hanging with my friends. But when I get out, 
I'm going be better than before because I want to change 
my life. I want to be with my mother who I love so much. I 
also love my father who I also have hurt so much. 

They are always with me through good and bad. I'll 
never stop thinking of them. Wherever they are, I love 
them. Parents, you are my life and without you, I would 
be nothing in life. I also love my little brother so much. 

-Salvador, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: It's good that at least you recognize the sacrifice and 
effort they have done for you. We hope this time helps you to reflect on 
the things you are doing and to think of the feelings from those who 
have given you life and all you have. From this writing, we can notice 
how much you love your family, but now you have to apply and she 
them the love you got for them. How? You know the answer. 


///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^j/^ywj Eimmm^mu r - #////// 


The Dps and Downs Of My Life 

What's up Beat? This is Cain. Tm currently locked up on a 9 
year, 8 month sentence. Just four years ago, I was facing 3 
strikes and a 25 to life sentence. Believe it or not, this was 
my first felony in California. Because I had previous serious 
felonies in another state, I became a 3 strike candidate. I 
kept thinking, "This isn't over; it can't be. I'm only 22 years 

After spending 5 months in county jail, I finally got a 
break; a 6 year probation term and 1 year county. I did my 
time and got out. 

I had no family to help me out. I had to start from the 
ground up, but I made a decision that I wouldn't get high 
or do crime. For the first time in my life I established an 
apartment, car, bank account. All the things to succeed in 

Then all at once, in a matter of two weeks, I lost my 

Cain writes from Salinas Valley State Prison. He wants to share his 
story and encourage others not to give up. Don't ever give up on 
yourself, Cain.. .you can make good things happen again!Cain writes 
us from his heart over in Salinas Valley State Prison, in Soledad, CA. 

job, my car got towed and I couldn't find it, and I lost my 
apartment, not because I was doing drugs or messing up, 
just bad luck. I had established myself legally and I lost it 
all. I just gave up on myself. I couldn't believe all that could 
happen even when you're doing good. 

I found myself back on the street getting high, doing 
crime. Now, here I am doing 80% on a 9 year, 8 month 
sentence. The good news is they gave me half time credit at 
county, plus I got past county time credit. I have been down 
three and a half years, but the other good news is I get out 
in two years. 

I'll never give up on myself no matter what happens in 
the future. That is what I've learned. 

ril never give i4p on ^if self no matter what hap- 
peMs IM the future, That is what I've tear Med. 

Jesse Duarte delivers a knockout poem from R J Donovan Dept of 
Corrections and Rehabilitation in Sskn Diego, CA. The poem speaks 
volumes. We encourage you Jesse to keep writing, you have plenty 
to offer! 

My Life and Pain And Hate And Witii Sorrow 

I feel stranded all the time, lost 

Without a home 

I feel like I'm breathless, restless 

In a dark hole. 

I'm a little boy that's lost 

And inside... 

I lost my freedom 

I lost my right 

I lost my love ones and family 

And I lost my mind, 

I'm lost in a place that can't get out 

Of, that's called the system. 

As I sit here behind these four walls 

Looking out my window and asking 

Myself what could I do to stop 

Coming in here. 

The life I chose was to gangbang 

For money, pain and hate... 

I lost my mom and dad so I started 

Using drugs to stop the pain inside. 

I looked up to my homeboys to find 

A roll model. But I started wrong 

I robbed people for hate... 

I ended up doing time up state. 

I love females, but I'm always doing time 

As the time go by. I wonder why 

I know I been through a lot of stuff 

Throughout my life from drugs to guns 

Places to places I think it's enough 

I got to rest. It's time 

To put up the gloves and call it a 



All you long time counselors in the S^n Francisco Juvenile Justice 
Center know this next writer. He damn near grew up in juvenile 
hall. We at The Beat met him as a 12 year old many years ago, and 
he remained housed in juvenile hall on and off until he was 1 8. Today 
Shaggy is 20 something years old. We see him occasionally when he 
stops by our office to say hello or to u%e the computer. Shaggy wrote 
this piece from his apartment in Sstn Francisco. This is probably the 
longest piece he has ever written for u% and we are honored to share it 
with you all. 

True Story of Wiieo I Was Loci(ed Up 

I was 12 when I got put into the Juvenile Hall for breaking 
my mom's nose. It was hard being away from my family at 
that age but I was in and out until I was 18. 

Thanks to Street Soldiers and Dr. Joseph Marshall, I've 
been out for 5 years now. 

I work with Muni Security on the buses. I also volunteer 
with the SFPD on some events and help with the Christmas 
Toy Drives they have for the kids in the City. I work with 
other people as well. I'm now the manager of a laundry mat 
in the City and make $15 per hour. 

You youngstas can do the same if you stay out when you 
get out. You youngstas can do a lot with your lives rather 
than going in and out of the system. You youngstas can 
do a lot of stuff with your lives rather than being in a gang 
or being in lock up. Get good jobs. Make money legally 
instead of illegally, which will only get you locked up again 
and again. 


amam// • r/r/et/ 

'CH/PXSTn^HB/? Hl^^nMS' 

Does America Really Want What They Think 
They Want, After The War Is Over? 

America and it's people should not expect America to 
resume its prestige after ending "this" war. I'm not a holy 
fanatic, however I do study scripture (Bible and Quran), and 
my way of life Islam without bias toward any other belief 
system. So as a reflection on the book that most Americans 
have faith in (The Holy Bible). I will use it to clarify a point 
in an attempt to give an understanding of what to expect. 

Bible, Dan. 9:26,27. .."and at the end of the war 
desolations desolate." Reflecting upon America, after a war 
such as this, do not expect the great recovery economically/ 
or mentally to America, but we should expect it to get even 
worse for America. It must be understood that these are 
signs of the direction the government is headed and it will 
become clearer as we continue in this writing. 

Why should it get worse for America and why would I 
say that being a American? This truth does not mean I am 
anti-America. It's just simple facts of the rise and fall of 
government done in the natural order of things. (Karma so 
to say). With trying to flnd a job for the unemployed soldiers 
who are returning from the war zone (if they have a chance to 
return after this war) this will be one of the worse problems 
for the government it has ever received, especially under 
the economical crisis the country is facing. For America 
has no trade power except for its cross-national product. 
Which is why the oil is so important to seize in this war 
(not to say that it's right to take from someone else) but the 
oil can be used to sustain the power of the American dollar. 
If one has not already noticed that the American dollar is 
losing its power all over the world. Every country needs oils 
for multiple purposes. 

As observed by many, America will not succeed in 
seizing that oil. And with unemployment mounting so fast, 
it will create revolution. And everyone will want to divide 
the government up into pieces and every leader will want to 
grab a piece, for their part to pattern after his own way of 

This should be a big warning to African-Americans. 
Desolation... if we are going to suffer deprivation in a 
country that has been the pride of the nations, this will 
make it altogether worse, for everybody will be thinking 
about the way that they used to live, and the illusions of 
freedom and privileges that they used to have. The lost of 
that will make anger rise up in the nation, especially in 
those who feel they're better than the nation, especially in 
those who feel they're better than of the less fortunate, for 
their greed goes deeper than one can muster the words to 

The desolation that is to be determined to be poured 
on the most desolate, is aimed directly at the place we live 
if one can read the signs of the time. All one has to mainly 
realize is that America is locked into an un-winnable war, 
however there is a solution to this problem, but will America 
accept the solution, is the question. Which, I will explain 

The way to hasten the desolation is to confuse the 
heads of government. We seen this has already been put 
into motion. The confusion comes from not being able 
to solve the problems the nations face, for the solving of 
this problem will determine the future of the nation. If 
the problem cannot be solved, that means that the nation 
will head toward a bigger war, which will lead to a major 
catastrophe World Wide. We can see that the government is 
confused and cannot flnd away out at the same time saving 
its prestige among the other nations. The confusion itself 
for it never will because too many lies has been told and no 
one wants to own up. They all play ignorant as if they were 
fooled. They where not fooled in anything except for the 

We welcome this first time writer in Christopher Bianics who 
delivers a hard-hitting commentary about the war we are in overseas. 
He shares his thoughts on what he thinks to expect once this war 
comes to some kind of conclusion for the USA and how it will effect the 
American people, particularly African Americans. Christopher Blanks 
writes from Telachapi State Prison in Telachapi, CA. 

outcome. Now they have confused themselves as to what to 
do to save the nation. 

Is it a confused time of the government to which the 
citizens should look to for guidance? How can the head 
guide, if it is not at peace with itself? The people seem to 
not be able to flgure out why the foreign countries in the 
Middle East are reluctant towards America. I mentioned 
above that there is a solution. And everyone regrets talking 
about the bad news that is apparently coming, natural 
disasters/ economic crisis/high crime rates/mortgage crisis/ 
increasing corruption in politics/ etc. Not many people 
know that many countries are looking at the condition 
of African-Americans & Indians in the country that has 
been the pride of the nations and has been wax rich for so 
long that poverty should have long been eradicated in this 

They want to know why in the very heart of democracy 
does such a condition exist. They pick up books and read 
about the barbaric history against those people who are 
now in poverty in America and they see that, as an example 
of what America wants to do to them. They know a lot more 
than America thinks they know about America. Before the 
world court when the president was trying to gain U.N. 
support for the war in Iraq against his own people. People 
know the talk of him practicing genocide against his own 
people in Iraq just before the flrst Persian Gulf War, not 
many American people know that the president became 
under flre about the same practices in America against the 
Indians & African-Americans on crimes against humanity. 

What can America do to save itself? The great American 
government knows the source of its problems world wide, 
however it does not wish to tell the masses. Many may 
call this subject promoting racism, however it cannot be 
called a lie. So to call it racism would only be an excuse 
to avoid the facts, for to throw racism at the front of the 
matter instead of the facts have long been a very successful 
strategy of those who do not want to talk about the truth, 
for in truth, someone always gets burned and exposed. The 
root of America's problems is dealing with African-America 
and the Native American. They both must receive real 
justice in order for America to progress forward. 

To show that America wants real piece around the 
world and true democracy, it must flrst show that it wants 
the very same thing truly for its own citizens, mainly 
African-Americans and the Indian population, for those two 
groups of people where the ones denied REAL democracy 
in America. If the African-Americans so chose to form their 
own state like the Jews in Israel, would America oppose to 
it? Most probably could without thinking twice give a true 
afflrmative answer to that question. Yes they would oppose 
to it. 

What proof do we have of that answer? Upon reading 
history of the American way, check out Tulsa Oklahoma's 
history "Black Wall Street," the Marcus Garvey movement. 
Noble Drew All's movement, the Honorable Elijah 
Muhammed and the Nation of Islam movement and see how 
America dealt with them even though we are still blessed 
to have strong leaders who represent them all today. The 
problem also lies in the fact that Black people think the 
struggle ended with the civil rights movement as though 
Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream has been fulflUed for the 
beneflt of us all. Well we can see that it hasn't been fulfllled 
for the beneflt of us all. Well we can see that it hasn't 
because we are still flghting a racist system. 


amasm// • #////// 


Younp Thuos and Our Daughters 

Tonight as I waited in San Francisco to catch a BART train 
home I witnessed something I am compelled to share with 
you. I must tell you it challenged me in ways I still reflect 
upon as I write this. I imagine I will consider the situation 
even further in the coming weeks. My eyes have been 
opened wider to a reality we rarely want to consider, or that 
we rather think does not apply to those around us. 

A train had pulled up and as soon as the doors opened 
the quiet station was awakened to the voices of two arguing 
people. I was down a ways and my attention was drawn 
to the commotion. I walked slowly in the direction of the 
raised voices and could see everyone around the two - a 
young thug and his young girlfriend - stood frozen, watching 
the flasco. Nobody moved, it was as though everyone there 
wished they were somewhere else. The train the two had 
gotten off left the station for its next destination and much 
of the background noise dissipated. 

The two were going at it. He attempted to walk away 
but, not wanting to be ignored, she following him step-for- 
step, shouting a litany of expletives that did nothing to 
quell the discord. He turned on her and then they were 
face-to-face exchanging the most demeaning, belittling, and 
disrespectful words two people should never hurl at one 

No one intervened, no one moved towards him or her. It 
was as if everyone now wished to become invisible. I took 
a step forward, wanting to see more clearly what my mind 
was processing to be sure it was not imagined. 

I heard him say to her (but in much harsher words) he 
had bought the very shoes she was wearing so shut the 
**** up. She did not. I saw him push her to the raised 
structure commonly found in the BART stations for seating 
and then forcefully take one shoe - then the other - off her 
feet. He threw the shoes across the station and onto the 
tracks. At that point she went quiet. 

He raised his hand. I recall thinking, "Surely he's not 
doing this. Surely this isn't happening." She sat there, 
head bowed and still. He bent down and said something 
no one else could hear in her ear. He raised himself up, 
standing there now two feet taller then her seated and small 
frame. And then he punched her squarely in the face. 

No one moved an inch. I found myself closing the gap 
between the two. Fifty feet and counting down... 

She sat there recovering from her shame and 
embarrassment, and from being so completely immobilized 
by this young thug, her bearing slowly awakening to what 
had just happened. 

He began to walk backwards away from her. I heard him 
say to her, "I'm going to shoot you. You wait till I see you 
again, I'm going to shoot you." 

That's when I stopped moving. In that moment I had 
my wake-up call. In that moment I was forced to evaluate 
what my instincts had advised my body to do by walking 
towards the two. In that moment I had to stop and allow my 

The other day a dear c 

Within and asiced if we were interested in publishing in our latest 
issue. After reading this moving yet painful piece, we couldn't resist 
the offer. We were honored when we heard that author Dedoceo Habi 
agreed to allow u% to print his latest commentary, which he wrote 
somewhere in the Bay Area. We do hope to hear from our new friend, 
if not, all we can %x^ is thanks for this priceless piece of work that fits 
nicely in our important publication. 

logic to lead the way, and not my compassion for these two 
unfortunate youth. 

How is it that these two could act out so violently and 
callously towards one another in the presence of so many 
strangers? What were they thinking of and what could have 
been so powerful to each of them that they could lose sight 
of all the people who surrounded them? 

I decided I would go no further. I decided their fate 
was cast and they had each chosen to be who they are. I 
decided my life was far too valuable - to me and to my loved 
ones - risk losing it on this night. "I'm going to shoot 
you..." reverberated in my mind and brought the reality of 
what our society has allowed to be wroth upon our youth. 

No one else moved. There were no BART police in sight. 
There were no caring parents to protect that young girl. 
There was no responsible father to awaken the virtue and 
integrity that I know still exists in the mind of that young 
thug. There was no community of caring and nurturing 
adults to intervene on behalf of both of these youth... there 
was nothing. 

My train came moments later and I boarded it. I seated 
myself and thought about how that young lady might have 
felt. I wondered how defenseless and minute she must 
have felt knowing she could be treated so badly in public, 
around so many people, without any help at all. I could now 
understand how so many young women feel these terrible 
young thugs own them. And I wondered how that young 
man could have arrived at such a corrupt mental state that 
he could act as he did. I wondered, and I wondered... 

And then I realized the truth of the matter. They 
acted the way they did because we are paralyzed by fear, 
self preservation, insensitivity, a collective disregard for 
community, and many other intricately woven variables, all 
working to keep us at bay. 

It is my prayer that no one who reads this has a son or 
daughter who would act as such. I would wish that hurt, 
shame and embarrassment on no one. 

I have chosen to share this with you because we need 
to start talking to all youth who might act out in these ways 
and help them learn another way. When you next visit with 
friends or family and you hear our youth talk about how 
cool it is to be a thug, or how safe it is to be with a thug, 
I hope you will remember what I have shared with you. I 
hope you will flnd the daring to say something that will 
plant the seed of change in the minds of the youth you can 

And I hope you never have to deal with the trauma our 
young thugs are inflicting on our daughters. 


amasm// • #////// 

'B AfnnB¥' 

My Search For FreGdom 

It's like rm in the dark bleeding on my knees pleading to 
God for a lost freedom I never had. And yeah, mama always 
told me "boy be careful what you ask for," but I wonder why 
pain didn't tell her that when she had me! For this life I 
didn't ask for and this pain isn't suppose to be mine. Is it a 
must that I be stabbed in the heart every minute of the day, 
on life support breathing from a body that need to pay its 
water bill. For it bled more than it suppose to. 

Damn! Sometimes I wish I didn't even know what 
pain is, but this life left me no choice. It was forced upon 
me, now I feel like a kidnapped victim abducted from my 
paradise of freedom and thrown behind bars, fighting to 
breathe in an intoxicated environment and it feels like I'm 
being suffocated with a gas mask and I can feel the invisible 
tears escape from my eyes like a never ending waterfall. 

Every night I close my eyes and go to sleep I dream of 
being at home and the nightmares don't stop until the next 
morning when my eyes are open again. It seems like my 
only freedom comes when my eyes are closed dreaming of 
that which isn't even a reality. Its like I'm in hell and my 
only escape in through death. These heat waves of struggle 
got me hallucinating as if I was in the desert, thirsty for 
water, choking on dirt. Dehydration got me wondering if 
I'm ever going to find freedoms water or will this desert's 
cancer eventually consume my body leaving me slumped 
on the back of a camel. 

This drama got me desperate reaching out to a goal only 
time will permit, and that's freedom whether it's through life 
or death. Sometimes I feel like I'm on death row waiting for 
my number to be called experiencing every kind of emotion 
there is to experience. Lord, I've been in critical for some 
time now. Why won't they just pull the cord and take this 
pain away? Is it a must to die in agony seeking to kill those 
for not killing me? All I want to do is live but if I got to die 
before process was to start, take a picture of me living in 
between suicide and homicide like two pistols on my left 
and right. Save the fiowers. Write on the tombstone, "he 
lived by the gun, he died by the gun". 

I can't remember the last time I fought this hard to be 
free and that's because I never had. Realization tell me each 
time I stumbled upon incarnation it has become that much 
more difficult to regain that balance of freedom. Either my 
shoes are untied and I need to be laced or I've been rejecting 

The next writer that you're about to hear from is a long time 
friend of ours and his name is Eric Phillips aica E-Money. E-money is 
currently locked down in Folsom State Prison, in Represa, Ca, doing 
a three-year bid, but is scheduled to be released soon, within the next 
couple of months. For all you that don't know E-Money, he's a very 
intelligent and skilled writer. He's very good at putting his thoughts 
down on paper, nothing but game. He has been through the system 
since he was a youngsta, just like the majority of you writers for The 
Beat Within. Now he's spitting some knowledge to all you young readers 
and old alike, 'cause we can never stop learning in life. What the next 
man know, you might not know. We all can learn from one another. So 
peep game! 

common sense telling me that one day I'm going to fall and 
I'm not going to get back up. I guess I better look where I'm 
going or become a victim to this hard knock life. 

Never in my life I sought change so desperate and it 
isn't because the fear of incarceration. Mama always told 
me "fear no men or nothing, but god." But my appetite 
has been disgusted with his life I lead and if I could I 
would regurgitate it back to the scum of this earth, for I 
have experienced so much B.S. It was like I was living in a 
manure factory, kissing behind just to get by. I now realize I 
have been living according to someone else predetermined 
theory of how the average young black male will suffice (turn 
out) in America instead of competing in the struggle for my 
highest potential and being of contrary to statistics. 

The man in me tell me that I'm one of kind diamond 
that exceeds the limits of materialism, but as impossible to 
be this world's greatest gift until I stop the devil's shadow 
from taking my shine away. He has been giving me rainy 
days of pain and I've been running from his confrontations 
of struggle not realizing that by over coming them is the 
only way to experience the essence of freedom. 

I wonder why it took me two breaths away from death 
in a dungeon of an illusive mind frame seeing my refiection 
through my eyes of reality and uninvited burning tears to 
before I realized how much I desired to live and be free. 
Must pain burn my heart before my eyes are open! I guess 
you can say I had it all figured out living in a dream that was 
meant to stay in my head. 

My conclusion, I've been living a life walking through the 
shadow of death searching for a graveyard of pain, thinking 
I'm going to find heaven through a casket. My rebellious 
attitude was my shovel and my destructive action was the 
dirt burying me closest to hell. I was a funeral waiting to 
happen hoping that freedom was of my attendance. 


Looking Back 

To all of the struggling youth out there, if you are in juvenile 
hall, CYA or in an after-school workshop: A lot of us look 
back at how it could have been - "if only I would have 
done this or did that, it would all be different. I could be at 
home watching TV or even studying for a test or something 

Just stop and take a look around wherever you are just 
for a minute. Now tell yourself, "Wow! I did this, but this is 
not the end because I still have choices in my life." If you 
are anything like me, I believe it's time to change by making 
positive choices in my life. 

It's truly sad that we can't rewind the time, but we can 
start today by being a better person and learning how to 
ask for help from a friend or one of your parents, even your 
PO sometimes. That's what it takes when you want to start 

From Keith Smith, writing in from CA Rehab Center, Norco, 
CA. Keith is from East Palo Alto and has been in the system for 
many years. He hopes to parole back to his community and become 
involved in teaching young people what he's learned by his years of 

living right. You may even have to tell the homies that you 
have to start "doing you" and not the street. People respect 
you when you come to them straight up and they see you 
are for real about changing. 

Yes, it's true. Life is really cool when you're living right 
because you can be yourself and kind to the people around 
you and feel good about it. Yes, it would be really cool if we 
could rewind the time and walk a straight line but we can't. 
So we just have to start walking that straight and become a 
better person. Remember: our past doesn't have to be our 


amam// • #////// 

'CH^/PL^BS "¥^SHX/7" L^xnrnn' 

But he laughs to keep from cr^thg 
Sightless, unaware that his people are di/lftg 

Dear Beat Within 

One can only respect what it is you do to help the lost 
souls, the young as well as the grown. I sent you a letter 
to see what it was that your organization was into. Your 
office sent me a copy of your weekly newsletter. I like 
what you're doing for the youth. Do I have to pay to 
receive your newsletter? 

I myself do a little writing as well as drawing. I'm 
sending you just something small that the young you 
help might be able to relate to. If you use any of it for 
your newsletter, could you send me the one you put it 

I'm from the East Coast and on a little different 
vibe, so I don't know if our slang would be looked at as 
being watered down. But I got a way of getting' my point 

I'm doing life plus 50 years for robbery and murder. 
I've been down for 8 years now. I left behind a beautiful 
daughter and a bunch of good people. My life is real, my 
story is raw in its purest form. I hold no punches. 

If I hear back from you or not, it's been real. Keep up 
the good work and even though it is tough at times, it gets 
greater later. 


Deir Beat 

Hello, how are you doing today? I hope just fine. It's a 
good feeling to see the poems I've written in The Beat for 
the young ones to read. I'd feel like I've accomplished 
something if it were to just touch one soul. It really does 
matter that much to me. 

I know a lot of the kids are uncertain about what the 
future holds for them, just like I was when I was at their 
age. It's taken me a lot of working on myself to rid me of 
the dysfunctional attitudes and character defects that I've 
carried into my adult life from my young rebellious life. 

Now in my life I've learned the importance of what 
it means to have to be willing to do whatever it takes 
to change, to learn from mistakes, and to keep focused 
on the end result - which at this moment is "me." I've 
learned to love myself unconditionally in a world that 
offers absolutely no guarantees. When I did this is when 
I started to learn to love myself and others as well. 

Part of this learning experience is what has taken me 
to want to start working on an A. A. in Social Sciences, 
while incarcerated. Through that experience I wrote this 
poem called "The Formula for Success." I hope you could 
use it for The Beat. 

The Beat welcomes Charles "Yashir" Linton , who is incarcerated 
in a facility in LaBelle, Pennsylvania. We encourage you to read his 
"Dear Beat Within" letter/intro. it gives us readers plenty to think 

s, you do not have to pay for The 
Beat Within. With each letter we receive we send you or anyone for that 
matter our publication. We look forward to getting educated on the East 
Coast lifestyle and slang, bring it on pure and uncut! Thanks for sharing 
the powerful "Laugh Now, Die Later," wow! 

Laugii Now, Die Later 

Laughing and crying is symbolic to laughing and dying 

Consequences of packin' the iron 

The hood he was raised in, his safe haven 

Where cats pump crack and keep k's blazzin' 

Young dudes thinking guns rule 

Feeling like the streets teach 'em better than some 


Lost souls who cross goals with immediate gratification 

Hit the block, pitchin' rocks, 'till they back at the 


Post bail or sit a few 

Bump heads with different dudes with different views 

It's so redundant 

But it's the cards he was dealt 

And the scars that he felt 

That leave him closed minded and so blinded 

But he laughs to keep from crying 
Sightless, unaware that his people are dying 

//eft heh/Hd a heant/fM/ daughter 
and a l?mch of good peop/e, j 

'nL^xnrnn ^i^^i^ns' 

The following was sent in by Clinton Avalos, who writes from 
Sskn Quentin State Prison in Sskn Quentin, CA. Clinton's letter is 
quite touching. We appreciate his feedback and his own thoughts ^% 
a writer. By the way, "Formula For Success" is a super read, we hope all 
you Beat readers enjoy Clinton's latest ^% well. 

Formuia For Success 

The formula for success is to stay in school 

Get an education and be cool 

It doesn't matter where you're at or where you've been 

Just keep on trying again and again 

Something worth having is worth all the more 

It's what they call dreams, that's worth fighting for 

It's up to the individual the decisions we make 

Don't hold out the promise of empty gains 

Life is an investment, invest in yourself 

Wisdom and knowledge is great wealth 

It's not all or nothing, life's not a pursuit to have fun 

Deny yourself, pick up your cross and pray to the 

Almighty One 

Learning is fun when you put your mind to the test 

Keep your blinders on, forget the rest 

Stay focused and on track 

Fake it till you make it, do whatever it takes 

Always count the cost; it's your life that's great 

When it looks gloomy and hope is hard to hold onto 

Remember always - you can do it! 


amam// • #////// 

'CU/PTTS nnn/< u/?.' 

Play My Heart Like a Piano 

Play my heart like a piano for all eternity 

Oh, play the precious keys that bring forth liberty 

Play them at dawn for the awakening of my soul 

Oh, play them at dusk when the thin sheets fold 

Play them when all obstacles of life are against me 

Oh, play them when I overcome all my adversities 

Play them when the Earth crumbles, producing a 

catastrophic disaster 

Oh, play them when the medicine cures the cancer 

Play them when you're happy and full of joy 

Oh, play them when you expect a girl but receive a boy 

Play them in the company of a king who has just been 


Oh, play the keys of soul soothing sound 

Loving If 014 Is like flMdiMg 
salvatloM for mif sotil 

The Iirn loier 

It's been five long years, her heart he is yet to discover 

Seems like five decades to the torn lover 
Looking back on time past the love they shared he'd do 

anything to make last 
Even murder in the first degree obsessed as he could be 

angry and on a mission 
He makes a catastrophic decision to get her back dead 

or alive Satan reinforces his drive 

His hand on gun his mind on death/she will soon take 

her last breath 

The time has come time to meet her maker, he 

considers himself the ultimate time taker 

Two lives balance in the beam then he thinks should I 

give her a break 

Confused his own life he takes 

Our Love 

Our love reunited like the four winds of the night 

I love you with unconditional love with all my might 

No, there are no fiaws in you because you are perfection 

I have learned much from you, so I count you as a 


In you I found everything I've been looking for 

You are everything I ever wished for and so much more 

You preoccupy my mind now and forever 
You are the perfect woman for me, you couldn't get any 

The sun highlights your ebony eyes and your blessed 

Your beauty inspires me, it inspired me to write this 


Our love is more than candlelight dinners and costly 


Even if we didn't have this lavish lifestyle our love would 

remain the same. 

Yes indeed, our new friend Curtis Cooic is what we now call a 
regular contributor. This weeic he has more poems to share with u%. 
Curtis, iceep up the writing.. .your woric shows a depth of emotion. 
The poem "Alex" was ' 

born. "I Am the Ghost of Smoice" was written to encourage people to 
stop smoking or to not begin in the first place. "Play My Heart Like 
a Piano" was written for his younger brother, Kadaris, who plays the 
piano, sk% well sk% other instruments, it was written to encourage him to 
keep playing. "Play on, play on!" Plus, Curtis has graced us with several 
more poems in this issue, including his favorite love poem, guess which 
one that is? Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with u%\ 
Curtis Cook Jr. writes u% from a correctional facility in Selma, Alabama. 


April the first blessed with an eight pound fifteen 

ounce son 

At eight forty eight p.m. heaven's birth cycle was done. 

Coming in at twenty-one and a half inches long 

I can hear angels singing a baby has been born. 

I will name him Alex because he is great to me 

Put him on a pedestal for the whole world to see 

When I look in his eyes I can see myself 

Lord, give him a great start and most importantly 

spiritual wealth 

And let not the sun go down without him saying his 


Let him know when I'm gone his true Father will be 


I want you to know your father was a man of true talent 

To my baby, I love you, Alex! 

Loviog Yoo 

Loving you is like catching that first breath as a 

drowning victim 

Loving you is like eating my favorite dish from Mom's 


Loving you is like finding salvation for my soul 

Loving you is the one thing in my life that will never get 


Loving you is like a cool breeze on a hot summer's day 

Loving you is speechless in which I don't have the words 

to say 

Loving you is like a rose's dependency on April's rain 

Loving you is the loving emotion that keeps me sane 

Loving you is like the precious leaves of fall 

Loving you is the most zealous gift of all 

Loving you is how I found love in everything 

Loving you is a graceful action that I can't explain 

Loving you is like fame with endless wealth 

Loving you is a necessity because I love you to death. 

I Afl) tiie Giiost of Sflioite 

I am the Ghost of Smoke 

I live a cloudy life in your lungs and throat 

I'll raise your blood pressure and I'll cause cancer 

I've left the best doctors in the world without an answer 

I'll raise your insurance premiums 

I'll make in your face wrinkles of demons 

I'll make you cough and short of breath 

I'll snatch back your good health 

I'll explore your body when you inhale me 

I'll cause problems and sickness to many 

I'll stain your teeth and give you the breath of death 

I'll drain your body until there's nothing left. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^^^^^^^^^^^ ™ [i { /_ \£.{ Lf^JJiL 

Detail liie 

For the love of a woman passed throughout all the 


Special in the sight of man it runs deep without hurt 

Her love is like no other 

Somewhat like the love of your dearest mother 

Her heart is full of unconditional love 

She's never two-faced, a love you can trust 

A love that you can lean on when you're sick and can't 

get well 

Remaining faithful to her man while he is away in jail 

Stimulating each other's needs though rapid heart beats 

and sweat 

You can't live without her, that's something you can bet 

As your spirits intertwine two hearts reaching that 

certain elevation 

An image emerges with a dramatic illustration 

Acting as a joiner to join two souls unto one 

Being fruitful and multiplying, God's will has been done. 

My Valentine 

My valentine, tell me why I love you so much 
Is it because of your beauty or your soul-touching touch 
Is it possible for me to love you more than I love myself 

My valentine, it's true because I love you to death 
Is it because of love my heart quivers whenever you're 


Is it you, darling, that absorbs all thoughts of fear 

My valentine, you are my angel and keeper of my sanity 

Is it women like you that preserve humanity 

Is it love, my valentine, when I can't keep my eyes off 


My love this true, one like you never knew 

Is it you, my love, who's always full of joy and deep 


Is it you, my darling, who never demonstrates a negative 


My love, you are all these things and so much more 

It's women like you that are worthy of unlocking 

Heaven's door 

My Childhnnd Lnve 

As a child I always admired your compassionate 


All at once I was overtaken by your striking beauty 

Your eyes sway like the emerald green grass of Alabama 

Oh, your skin is like the softest mink coat of Canada 
The great love city of Paris couldn't tame your angel-like 

You're so beautiful to me, consider me star struck from 


All the world's history of beautiful women can't even 


Your beauty surpasses them by billions with a million to 

Sweet sounds of the violin complement you in your 

attractive scarlet dress 
The symphony plays, "The Most Beautiful Girl I Ever 

As we look to the sky our eyes are filled with white 

This moment I will never forget, my childhood love 

Smnnth Sailing 

Smooth sailing with loving you on my mind 

I can't forget the first time your lips touched mine 

Baby, if this was a sinful thing, I don't want to let go 

Your love is the power that navigates my soul 

And when I'm feeling low, you brighten my day 

You are a master wordsmith 'cause you know just what 

to say 

Cover me with your love, your loving arms of grace 

Teach and keep me warm in your tender love of faith 

Hold me close like you never held another 

Love me to the third degree under the covers 

Tap your fingertips up and down my spine 

Whisper softly in my ear to let me know you're mine 

And this is what I want to do for the rest of my life 

Making sweet love to you, sailing off into the night 

Twn Faces 

I am a man of two faces, but with two faces I am one 
I am two faces because of self, but I gaze at you with one 

Dlamnnd Gem Love 

Delicate skin tones with a fiirtatious body 

Working miracles in the spirit of naughty 

Jasper gems decorate the entity exquisitely 

The distinguished beauty takes the breath of me 

Never thought I'd meet the one to die for 

Her soft tender touch is one I can't ignore 

As we ravish each other rigorously 

Fatigued sweaty bodies bring us to our knees 

Weeping exists in this hellish love storm 

The bond was mutual that grew systematically warm 

Being creatures of a habitual nature 

I bring forth diamonds, emeralds and rubies with 

intentions to take her 

As we interconnect our spirits agree in vast similarities 

Exhausted but in love my spirit is free 


amam// • #////// 


I Wish... 

I wish there were muddy tracks on the floor 

And a door going shut with a slam. 

I wish there were thumb marks aU over the door 

And a hole in our pot of jam. 

I wish there were tops and toys to fix, 

A broken windowpane, 
A little old wagon and worn-out sled 

Out in the storm and rain. 

I wish there were little shoes to tie; 

A few little scrapes, bruises and bumps to kiss; 

A little boy to put in school 

For never a day dare he miss. 

I wish there were little boys to beg 

For money, candy or pie; 

I wish the cookie jar would travel off 

The pantry shelf on the sly. 

But the days of these pranks and tasks are gone. 

The days with such care's oppressed; 
There's a heartache that only a father could own. 
When the young birds have all flown the nest; 
A longing that only parents ever know, 
A longing that's never guessed- 
When loving hearts in a young manhood's glow 
Are planning for a father to rest. 
No thought of memories of olden times 
Have my boys, grown so big and strong- 
Memories that come like sweet vesper chimes 
Of the times when life was a song. 
They know not the hours that most times are spent 
(They guess not, these grown-up boys) 
That father is silently looking o'er 
A box of their old-worn-out toys. 
Or you can blame me or wonder instead 
If I long for these old-time joys- 
In longing for the years to turn back again 
In times past when these were "just dads little boys"! 

Dear Addiction 

How are you old friend, enemy, hater, liar, cheat - all of 
the above and some. It's been a while since I've been 
graced or should I say disgraced with your cunning, 
baffling, powerful presence. You had me fooled through 
so many tears. I wish I could relieve all those drugs, and 
alcohol induced wasted years, but since I can't I won't 
even try. Now I know life is worth living and I don't wish 
to die (anymore). 

You lose, I'm in control and have a real good hold. You 
know there are a few things I have to say now that I'm 
stronger, bolder and badder: I'm not going under 'cause 
bang He came to me just like thunder. My higher power 
that is and this time as I walk away from you is forever- 
That's all I have to say. Don't bother waiting for me 
because after I shut the door on you there's no turning 
back like I've done before. I'm His child now, hard to the 

My only prayer is for all those hearts your still gonna 

But me and my friends- the ones you have no control 
or power over anymore- we will be waiting to catch the 
ones that fall from your grasp. So take this and do what 
you will, I'll never be one of those you kill. 

Anonymously Yours, 
An Ex-Addict 

Look who is back! Yes it's our friend Herbert Schweigert, from 
Crossroad Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri, who has 
contributed more for publication. Herbert, your work hits it on the 
button! May your good Lord keep inspiring you! 

&ea.+ ^ - 

The Dast 

I read of a man who stood to speak 

At the funeral of a friend. 

He referred to the dates on her tombstone 

From the beginning to the end. 

He noted that flrst came the date of her birth 

And spoke of the second with tears. 

But he said that what mattered most of all 

Was the dash between those years. 

For the dash represents all the time 

That she spent alive on earth 

And now only those who loved her 

Know what that little line is worth. 

For it matters not how much we own. 

The cars, the house, the cash. 

What matters is how we live and love 

And how we spend our dash. 

So think about this long and hard. 

Are there things you'd like to change? 

For you never know how much time is left 

Yo could be at the "dash mid-range!" 

If we could just slow down enough to consider 

What's true and what's real 

And always try to understand 

The way other people feel. 

And be less quick to anger 

And show appreciation more 

And love the people in our lives 

Like we've never loved before. 

If we treat each other with respect 

And more often wear a smile 
Remembering that this special dash 

Might only last a little while. 

So, when your eulogy is being read 

With your life's actions to rehash... 

Would you be pleased with the things they have to say 

About how you spent your dash? 


amam// • #////// 

'HB/7IIB/7T SCHMBTUB/PT nanr. ' 

The Gift Of Life 

The gift if life is ours today, 

To mold and shape like blocks of clay. 

Each day unveils an open door, 

That wasn't open there before. 

The gift of life is ours today. 

To use before it ticks away. 

Like sand within an hourglass. 

For this day too is soon to pass. 

Our yesterdays have all been spent. 

They can't be saved or sold or lent . 

The gift of life is ours today. 

To worship, work, or rest and play. 

The hours pass so quickly by. 

We sometimes laugh and sometimes cry. 

There is so much we need to do. 

If we would have a dream come true. 

Who knows which day will be our last. 

Before it fades into the past! 

Our time is precious, come what may- 

The gift of life is ours today. 

It is Better 

To set a good example than to preach the finest sermon 
To be noted for living a pure life than to be admired for 

singing well 
To be called a fanatic by the world than to be its friend 

and a willful hypocrite at heart 
To be evil spoken of than to hear everybody speak well 

of you 

To please God than to please your friends 

To obey God than to backslide 

To have a conscience void of offense toward God than to 

be on good terms with the world 

To have a crown in Heaven than a place on earth 

To give God all the glory than to take any of it yourself 

To do one thing well than to partly do several things 

To have 30 minutes of private prayer than to have 30 

minutes of useless conversation 

To work for the salvation of souls than to seek to please 


To love God and own nothing in this world than to be 

rich and lift up your eyes in hell. 



We do not know Ish, or do we? We bet our colleague Dennis Morton 
who conducts Beat workshops in Sskntsk Cruz Juvenile Hall does. 
Well, unfortunately, ish writes u% from the county jail in S^nt^ Cruz, 
CA. We'll let his letter to The Beat and short poem speak for u%, for him. 
We definitely hope to hear more from ish down the road! 

Dear Beat 

Allow me to extend my utmost profound love and respect. 
Hoping and wishing all who read this find themselves in a golden 
state of mind and upright spirits. I'm a long time contributor to 
The Beat Within and since I find myself once again behind the 
walls, I would like to pick up where I left off. 

Here's a little poem I wrote. Hope you like it. 

I look forward to receiving a copy of The Beat if it's not 
too much trouble. I feel I can bring a lot of good stuff to your 

In My Cell 

Once again I sit here all alone 

Just to open my eyes and see the steel and the stone 

Out my cell window I see rain from the sky 

Just to realize it was a tear from my eye 

I feel the cold air chill me down to the bone 

I'm forced to stay here but this cell is not my home 

I hear the ring, the metal swinging of key and metal locks 

The scrape of boots upon concrete as guards patrol the catwalks 

Another passing day as a CDC prisoner doing time 

I got nothing to lose by my sleep 
A gangster dreaming of love creeps down to my feet 

A thug in love only has one destination 
To reminisce on a kiss could only be by imagination 

My girl swore she would wait and never be late 

But Sancho came along and she left me from the gate 

Please accept my calls, the blessing from your voice can't 

penetrate these walls 

With a piece of paper and envelope infatuated with ink 

The walls and locks got you wondering what can a gangster like me do 

It's all a struggle for what you don't see 

Like the song says, somebody please 

But I had a choice and I chose wrong 

My love for you runs deep through my heart 

I want you by my side 

Girl, you're my pride 

I'm down for you with a passion 

We welcome back to our pages Cisco. Cisco writes his latest poem, 
"All Washed Up" from the RJ Donovan Correctional Facility in Sskn 
Diego, CA. He has been locked up for many years, we do hope there is 
a release date for Cisco in the near future. 

Dear Beat 

Hello to you all! Here we come upon another week as 
well as a new month! It's now coming up thirteen years 
in CDCR - what a joy! I'm sending another poem for you 
all to enjoy. Thanks again. God bless and may the angels 
watch over you all. 

All Washed Up 

The floods of many waters do take their toll 

When the mighty billows of trials overwhelm the soul 

"You're finished, all washed up," the enemy does cry 

"There is nothing left, all is lost," you sigh 

Then comes the Commander of wind and sea and says, 

"My child, look unto me, you are washed up, 'tis true 

But understand what this means for you 

Once you were lost in sin's miry clay 

You had no hope and could not find your way 

Then you sought my cleansing within 

And now you're all washed up from sin 

Sailing along, clouds gathered and winds did blow 

Expectation's vessel tore apart and sank below 

Buoyed up by my sustaining grace 

You held tightly to a board of faith 

Days passed, you and your fragment drifted 

You were lonely, humbled and sifted 

Touched by your Shepherd's rod, at the mercy of no one but God 

Not finished. He sent yet another storm 

'I can't make it,' you cried, 'I'm too weary and worn' 

You rode through the endless night on death's dark door 

But by morning you were all washed up on a new shore 

Though ripped apart, withered and suffering loss 

You did survive, being tempted and tossed 

All washed up to start over anew 

Convinced that I, your good Captain, will see you through 

When gasping for breath, at the end of your rope. 
Just remember that as long as there is life, there is hope" 


amasm// • #////// 

'/<Bi^Xn AfC/<M¥' 

A Lesson Back at Ya 

Lessons come in many different shapes and sizes. I could 
be doing something unconsciously for years and one day, 
like an epiphany, bam! 

The other day a friend of mine. Ace, was telling me a 
story from an incident which happened a few months earlier. 
You see. Ace, a life long Cowboys fan, always cheered his 
team on. And rightfully so. They're America's team; they have 
great players, great coaches, great cheerleaders, and they're 
deep in the heart of Texas. 

Well, Ace cheered and cheered. The Cowboys were 
winning and on a roll. Life was seeming a little better to Ace. 
On Monday morning, after a Cowboy win, the sun seemed to 
shine just a bit brighter. 

Did you know, there are some people in this world that 
can only find happiness in other people's misery? There are. 
They're everywhere. 

So Ace is cheering and this other dude. Strife, can't stand 
it. Now, Strife, in all reality, was indifferent to the Cowboys 
and he didn't necessarily dislike Ace. What he didn't like was 
the joy of others. Pathetic. 

Well, one day, after an especially close game in which the 
Cowboys lost. Strife started mocking Ace's cheers. Ace, no 
dummy, knows that Strife didn't care about the other team's 
win, only that Ace was feeling bad. And Strife rubbed it in. 

My friend Ace took that personally and was ready to fight. 
And if Strife didn't actually, in front of everyone on the yard, 
break it all the way down, that's what would have happened. 
Disregarding all the consequences that would have followed. 
Ace was ready. 

I know for a fact that Ace would have regretted that and I 
said, "Man, you were ready to throw it all away over that?!" 

He said, "Yeah, but..." this "And what if..." that and I 
had an answer for all of it. And do you know what? I was 
wrong. I was wrong and he showed me why. And I was about 
to say, "Yeah, but" or "And what if," but that was useless. So 
I said, "You know what. Ace? You're right and thank you for 
pointing that out to me." 

So, there are two lessons to be learned here. 

1.) You can't criticize someone for something when 
you yourself have faults; sometimes the same ones. That's 

In this case, I tried to school Ace about letting pride get 
in the way of living a good clean life. Who cares what people 
say or think as long as they don't put their hands on you. 
"Yeah, but..." "Yeah, but nothing!" 

2.) Everybody is full of pride and you sometimes have 
to swallow it. It's hard, but if you chew on it long enough, it 
will go down. Sitting down and thinking things through will 

When I was talking to Ace, telling him he was wrong, 
he got mad. We all get angry when we are corrected. He 
waited a minute and pointed out that just days earlier 
someone anonymously yelled, "Shut up" while I was talking 
and, I, without thinking, came right back with "Screw you, 
coward..." and so on. I didn't even know who it was. But my 
pride got right in my mouth and came right out. I was well 
within my rights, but I was wrong. Why couldn't I just let that 
go? Pride. 

I never tell anyone to shut up; why should I let someone tell 
me? Pride. 

Jesus asked, in Luke 6:41, "...why do you look at the 
speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in 
your own eye?..." Practice what you preach. 

In conclusion, be mindful of your actions and reactions 
to others. Life is not a contest on who is toughest or who's 
right or wrong. I, myself, at forty-one, still need a mentor. 
I have to swallow my pride and listen. I have to take time 
to think about my actions, how they will affect others. But 
when I do mind myself, nobody else has to. 

There are lessons to be learned everyday and every way. 
But you have to remove the stubborn pride to see the errors 
you make and be humble enough to admit when you're 

Kevin McKay returns this weeic with his latest effort for u% all 
to read. Kevin writes his prose and poetry for The Beat from the 
SHU (Security Housing Unit) in Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, CA 
writes. What follows are some examples of his powerful work. We can 
all learn from your lessons, Kevin! Read on Beat readers, read on! 


A part of you cries in shame 

While another protests in anger. 

You know you should ask forgiveness. 

But pride stands in the way. 

For every moment of sorrow 

Comes two of contempt. 

Grace and mercy try to work their way in. 

But greed and craving have a stronghold. 

Who judges when all hate? 

Who denies forgiveness when all ask for mercy? 

Who condemns when all worship death? 

Who will release the bonded when all are in chains? 

There Is One 

There is one 

Given by One to save all. 

To save all and forgive all. 

To show mercy to all who ask. 

To release the chains which bind 

There is one 

Worthy of judgment upon us 

Showing compassion 

Shedding His own blood 

To cleanse us from the poison of ours. 

Praise God. 

Give thanks. 

This Love 

Full of pride and anger in his heart, he slammed the door. 
It was a slam of finality, shaking the windows and eaves. He 
shoved his hands deep into his pockets; in one was half a 
cigarette he'd stubbed out earlier, the other the worn out 
Zippo lighter his grandfather had given him when he turned 
18 and joined the army. It took six times to get it lit, but, as 
always, it faithfully did. He breathed in the stale tobacco as 
deep as possible, held it, and slowly released smoke from 
his nose. 

She hated when he smoked. She hated a lot of the things 
he did. But she loved him anyway, loved him deeply, more 
than he could know or understand. 

And he loved her. 

He didn't know what the feeling was. It spooked him. He 
just knew that she was fragile. That's why he'd storm off and 
smoke in silence when she told him what he already knew. 
"Don't drink so much." "Don't smoke." "Don't sniff that crap 
up your nose." He knew. 

Was it so selfish of her to want him to live a long life? 

He threw the cigarette down on the driveway and rubbed 
it out with his boot. He picked it up, along with a few small 
pieces of trash the wind had blown onto the property, and 
walked them over to the trash can. He took a deep breath 
of fresh, crisp air and made his way back to the front of the 

Something caught his eye in the dark sky and he looked 
over just in time to see a bright star, millions of miles away, 
shoot across the sky like a rocket. That made him smile. How 
could he see something so far away so clearly and be blind to 
the simple truth right in front of him? He smiled, turned and 
walked into the house and found her in the kitchen drying 
the last of the dinner dishes. "I love you," he said and he 
hugged her with all his might. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^^^^"^^^^'^^ ^ ^,Lj^£LLiALL 



It's called the "super bug," you know the "flesh-eating 
disease." The potentially fatal staph infection that wastes 
away at the skin, leaving in its wake hideous scars that 
remain forever. 

Actually, that would be a fortunate consequence of the 
ailment, compared to those who've died. It's a frightening 

In October, a representative of the Journal of the 
American Association says deaths caused by the aggressive 
germ exceed that of AIDS. 

Thirty-two infected people per 100,000. It's a plague 
on the move in society, and reports of its devastation are 

It's even worse for those enclosed, locked away in 
penal institutions across the continental horizon; staph 
is completely and utterly out of control. It is within these 
forsaken venues of gloom that diseases like staph thrive. 
Prisoners are particularly vulnerable due to nationwide 
overcrowding, where people live virtually on top of one 

Unfortunately, society is often dispassionate about 
what goes on within. Very few realize that what festers on 

We welcome back Dortell Williams from the California State Prison 
in Lancaster, CA. This week he drops u% a commentary that should 
literally bug you. This concerning piece, "Superbugs Behind Bars" 
should definitely get you thinking about your health and of course 
where you could be heading, or have already headed. We look forward 
to Dortell^ follow-up piece. 

the inside oozes outside. 

In California, for instances, sheriff's deputies were 
exposed to the flesh-eating disease. One deputy took it 
home to his newborn. 

In 2003, about 200 prisoners a month were being 
infected, totaling a little over 9000 prisoners by year's end. 
That's just in the Los Angeles County Jafl. In 2005, 129,000 
prisoners. Nationwide, some 600,000 were released. 

Does society have something to fear? You bet? 
"Corrections" facilities that do everything but correct. 
Think about it, if pervasive sub-cultures like sagging pants, 
lace less tennis shoes, racial disharmony and gang tensions 
can emanate from prisons, how much more contagious 

Prisoners are no more than an extension of society. 
As the frequency of prison and social issues intertwine, it 
is becoming more evident that prisons are not America's 
panacea, but it's biting plague. 

Vertf few realize that what festers om the Inside oozes outside. 

Bey There Kid 

It's been some time since we've talked. 

I see you're crying. 

I know life is hard and prison sucks and I can tell inside 

you're sighing. 

You're not afraid to bleed if the cause is good. 

You're like a soldier on the line. 

Your mind is like an M-16 with ammunition hard to flnd. 

You wear the scars of battles fought tattooed beneath 

your skin. 

And when you think you've lost, you don't give up and 

in the end, you really win. 

Do you know why you're crying? 

I know I do. 

See I'm that voice inside your heart. 

I'm that silent thing that guides your dreams to the light 

when times get dark. 

I feed you hope to flght despair. 

Without me you're bound to lose. 

I can comfort body, mind, and soul, but only you can flU 

your shoes. 

I can give advice about battle plans and how to shake 

that fear you feel. 
But I can also guide you through fantasies when the 

pain becomes too real. 
You've won and lost, stood tall and proud, never hung 

your head in shame. 

You fought when only you stood alone with only me 

inside your brain. 

Since you were born into this world you can trust that I 

was there. 

Watched over you like parents do 'cause I'm a friend 

who really cares. 

And believe this now I'm here with you all the way until 

the end. 

I'm that thing you call a conscience, your one and only 

honest friend. 

'ffnuBffrn, shthh' 

It's so nice to have the following piece from Robert C. Shinn, who 
wrote this from Salinas Valley State Prison in Salinas, CA. We do 
hope it is true what he says in the following letter, that he is home, 
free. We are touched that he has given u% his favorite poem, "Hey There 
Kid." We definitely look forward to hearing from Robert in the free 
world. His words and his love to share speaks volumes. 

Dear Beat 

I know it's been awhile since I last wrote, but I've been 
getting ready for my upcoming release. I'm set to go home 
on February 26 if all goes right. I've been wanting to bless 
you guys with another little something, but really didn't 
know what to send since I have a big list of thoughts and 
poems. I've flnally decided that I'll send a copy of a poem 
I've titled "Hey Kid." It's one of my favorite poems to read 
when I feel lost or depressed. I figure it's another poem 
that will help people get through the hard times. I wrote 
it as a letter to myself when I felt most alone in doing this 
term. I really had to search deep for these words, so I 
hope it helps someone out there reading it. 

Thanks, Beat, for being the outlet I needed to relieve 
this stress and focus on doing my time. Believe that I 
will continue to send in works when I'm out in the world. 
Just because I'm out in the free world doesn't mean that 
my words can't help someone still trapped in a cell. Peace 
and respects. 

Thanks, Beat, for heMg the 
outlet I Heeded to relieve this 
stress and foci^s on doing mtf 


amam// • r/r/et/ 

'SHMU/n MnnTnnMB/7¥' 


A New Generation Of Black 

If Black are no longer Black and proud, and if they don't 
get goose pimples over Black being beautiful, there is a 
reason for that. That is because is a new breed of Black 
folks ascending upon today's world. 

Don't be shocked because there are Black people 
who don't get involved in the Civil Rights Movement. 
That is because they never experienced the Civil Rights 

Today, many Blacks didn't forget their history, it's just 
that they never knew it. The new generation of Blacks 
hasn't forgotten where they came from, as far as they 
know, they came from today's world. 

We need to know and remember that millions of 
Black people have never known segregation in the nude. 
They have always attended integrated schools, lived in 
integrated neighborhoods and had friends from other 

Eating places, movie theatres, hotels and motels, 
schools and opportunities have always been open to 
them. They know nothing or almost nothing about 
signs that read 'Black Only' or 'Whites Only'. They know 
nothing about the back door or the back seat on public 

They have no real idea of police brutality, being 
attacked by vicious police dogs or being washed away by 
powerful water hoses. 

The lack of this knowledge and experience has created 
a new breed of Black folks who are not very familiar with 
the age-old Black struggle. 

This is why the teaching of Black History is more 
important today than ever before. Many Blacks today need 
to understand that many Black people suffered and died 
to prevent them from experiencing the weight of racism, 
segregation, injustices and denied opportunities. 

The Civil Rights organization, the teaching of Black 
History and the Civil Rights Movement can no longer 
continue to do business as usual. Their strategies must 
be updated to meet the needs and to get the attention of 
the new generation of Black people. 

Forty years ago, these strategies worked. They worked 
because no Black was removed from the struggles and 
evils of the things the Civil Rights Movement sought to 
cure. These people of today must be made to connect the 
dots between the past and the present in order to get the 
complete picture. 

Once this is done, the new generation of Black folks 
will be able to understand that the battle is also theirs 
and that they need to get involved. 

Our friend Shawn Montgomery delivers another stellar piece from 
the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford Fla. It feels like it has 
been awhile since we last heard from Shawn, anyhow we are glad he 
hasn't forgotten us and The Beat remains on his radar. His following 
commentaries are no joke, they come from his experiences and what he 
observes and reads living the life inside day in and day out. We can't 
wait for the next installment! 

When He Loves Him and She Hon't Know 

It's inevitable that when a man goes to prison, sometime 
during his bid he will be asked a question (either 
jokingly or with serious concern) about that state of his 

In some form or fashion somebody will try to figure 
out if he has engaged in the unnatural act of "man on 
man" fornication. They usually come indirectly. 

Women disguised their intent and ask questions like: 
"What do you do for sex;" or "do you get horny in there?" 
Because most women feel they know a man's sex drive, 
they wonder how long he can go without having sex with 
someone or some "thing". 

When a former lady friend asked me one of these 
questions a couple years ago, I told her I was living like a 
7-year-old again. It's amazing what an active imagination 
can do. 

I couldn't imagine going the other route, I can't stand 
the smell of my own behind, let alone somebody else's. 

Unfortunately, I can only speak for myself. I'd be 
amiss if I said that 

there weren't a significant amount of men in prison 
who preferred the companionship of other men. That 
being said, I know that what goes on behind these walls 
is only a refiection of the larger reality on the other side. 

The point is, homosexual behavior and homosexuals 
have been around for centuries and from the sound of 
their slogan, "We're Queer! We're Here! Get Used To It!" 
they're not going anywhere soon. 

While I'll never condone such behavior for myself or 
my seed. I've never felt inclined to infringe on another 
individual's lifestyle either. . .until now that is. "Pretenders, 
switch hitters, slip-and-sliders, down-low brothers, 
homo-things," or whatever you want to call them, make it 
impossible to turn a blind eye. 

It's one thing when a man wears his gender preference 
on his sleeve for everyone to see. He goes his way, rocks 
his 'rainbow' and its no secret where he stands. If a 
woman chooses to engage in a relationship with him, she 
knows exactly what she's getting in to. 

On the other hand, when she runs across a pretender 
and everything isn't what it seems, the results have 
proven to be disastrous (HIV, AIDS). 

It's not her fault when she's tricked by a fairytale 
prince who turns out to be just a fairy. The pretender is 
so good at what he does that he even fools himself. To 
him, having sex with men doesn't make him gay. In his 
warped thinking, only men who are penetrated can be 
classified as homosexuals. 

For this confused individuals, let me offer some 
clarity. Regardless if you're pitching or catching, if you 
are a man and you have sex with another man, you are a 
"homosexual". It doesn't matter how many tattoos you 
have, how big your muscles are, or how well you can fight, 
if you enjoy sodomizing men, consider yourself the sixth 
member of the Village People. 

Do us all a favor. Stop tricking your family. Stop 
tricking women and for your own sake, stop tricking 
yourself. Just come out of the closet. 

'SH^wn MnnTnnMB/?¥ canr. ' 

Get More Love lo Your Life 

We all want more love. Between seeking it, courting it, 
and nurturing it, we spend the better part of a lifetime 
engaged in an all-out quest for affection. We yearn for 
partners who adore us, kids who worship us, and friends 
who celebrate us. Taught to see love as something that 
happens when we're good and deserving, we're utterly 
lost without it. 

The search leaves us at the mercy of circumstance. If 
we're connected to the source of our longing we're "in" 
love. When the connection is broken, we're out. We don't 
think of love as existing on its own- but it does. Love 
transcends the people and things that pass through our 
lies as well as the ups and downs of relationships. It's an 
entity in itself, an enduring, unwavering presence. 

When we choose to live-and love-unconditionally, 
embracing ourselves, other people, even the world at 
large, we find freedom. We feel at once more rooted and 
grounded, confident and buoyant, less vulnerable to 
stress, fear, anxiety, disappointment and jealousy. In a 
word, we become our best selves. 

Love plays a far greater role than any single moment 
or person can contain. Rather, it's a force that piques our 
curiosity, tests our instincts, and surprises us ~ even 
when we have known it all our lives. 

Make love a practice. Love yourself first. Love always 
begins with generosity toward yourself. It has to. You can 
only give what you have. When you can engage in self-love, 
then you can give love and receive love unconditionally. 

Every Time I Ciose My Eyes 

My AKA is Shawn Montgomery 

I'm about to take you into my world. 

As I sit behind these w£dls of steel, cdone cind feeling empty 

inside, the pain doesn't show, but the hurt still grows 

as another day is slowly fading away. 

I close my eyes 

with rushing thoughts going through my head. 

Days and nights in this solitary square, 

my own prison hell. 

Close your eyes and come with me, 

your image is the only key. 

Follow your dreams and you may see 

Beyond the depths for reality. 

Where you must fight for pride and dignity. 

It's behind a number you must abide 

The strength for survival you'll find inside. 

I know this world very well, 

it's my won private sort of hell, 

where others before once did dwell, 

in what's now my cell. 

You fight for life, 

you battle to win, only to find out they've won once again. 

There is a place you would rather be, 

far away fromcement walls and bars. 

That place is just imaginary and it has no room 

for scars. 

Wake up, for now its back to your world 

you must go. 

This you should know, 

keep this one thought upon your mind 

You went home, I remain behind. 

So if you should think of me from time to time 

Just pick up a pencil and drop The Beat Within a line. 

To Any Daddy 

There are little eyes upon you. 

And they're watching night and day; 

There are little ears that quickly 

Take in every word you say. 
There are little hands all eager 

To do anything you do. 

And a little boy who's dreaming 

Of the day he'll be like you. 

You're the little fellow's idol; 

You're the wisest of the wise 

In his little mind about you 

No suspicion will ever rise. 

He believes in you devoutly. 

Holds that all you say and do 

He will say and do in your way 

When he's grown, a man like you. 

There's a wise-eyed little fellow 

Who believes you're always right. 

And his ears are always open. 

And he watches day and night. 

You are setting an example 

Every day, in all you do. 

For the little boy who's waiting 

To grow up to be like you. 


amasm// • #////// 

'T¥i^B/? nuxnnx' 

World's Changin' 

A new epidemic is plaguing the nation, 

trigger happy youngins enraged with inflation, 

enraged with the situation, enraged 'cause societies not 


How can we support the government with our attributes? 

There's kids in hoods who can't afford soup. 

This isn't a white, black or Mexican thing. 

Its not a race, more of a generation theme. 

We got issues that need to be seen. 

No place is safe even within rich security gates. 

Stop the gang bangin', your way too late. 

Intervention was lost when the new armored car 

Was bought, how much did it cost? 

Now they put prices in our toes. 

Tags with serial number codes. 

They enhance the street rage mode. 

Their wondering how it came about. 

Wielding their hierarchy clout, with their own ways out. 

Not knowing the trap of the street. 

It sucks you through 'till you claim defeat. 

Let's kick another issue on this beat. 

Does the judicial system need for me to repeat. 

The violence they enhance and the destruction they 


Is there something that needs to be remapped? 

One of the last industrialized countries to do that, 

Killin' inmates, but we all knew that. 

How about this fact, giving juveniles life with no parole, 

I thought we held a morality role. 

One of four countries to do this, 

Hope ya'U knew this. 

Over 2000 youngsters without parole. 

They can go as young as 10, what were we thinking then? 

Not to mention, highest incarceration rates in the world. 

That's our criminal retirement pension. 

Has this caught any attention?!? 

The worlds changing', aint it amazing'. 

Too many moms cryin, young folks dyin'. 

But the government keeps supplyin'. 

Destruction and their tired of our whining', 

that's why we need to say "can you stop lyin," 

Sure our support for them is declining'. 

We welcome back lyier Guigni who writes u% from the Solano 
County Jail in Fairfield, CA. We are grateful lyier finds time to 
contribute his thoughts, his poetry. We must %x^, there is always room 
in our pages for thinkers and those who have knowledge to share. 

No longer will they be denyin', our situation 
We'll show them the facts and see how they react. 

Oversea's intervention deserves our attention. 

Forcing democratic societies on people who don't 

Believe our invention. 

Causing world tension, destructions relentless. 

Tear down, build up, that's how the US rolls up. 

Veto power on the UN committee. 

If it effects us there, no way we're submitting. 

Extradite the covert who destroyed your nation. 

Please, but give us the one who bombed our train stations. 

This is our public relations. 

Jumping on Kosovo's mass demonstrations. 

Joined up with the powerful UN conglomeration. 

To bomb a rebelling Nation. 

It's funny how we can support Kosovo, 

But we can't apologize to the Nicaraguans 

For the destruction we sow. 

Supporting underground terrorists we all know. 

These are a few, how many of you knew? 

The worlds changing', ain't it amazing'. 

Too many moms cryin', young folks dyin'. 

But the governments keep supplin'. 

Destruction and they're tired of our whining'. 

That's why we need to say "Can you stop lyin?" 

Show our support for them is declining', no longer 

Will they be denyin', our situation. We'll show 

Them the facts and see how they react. 

Education is key, I'm sure if we were 

Smarter the blocks would be a lot less hotter. 

Our generation is not that bad. 

Misguided perhaps following the fast. 

Lets educate and learn the truth. 

Not statistics subject to goons! 

Too many of our moms been cryin'. 

Peoples homeboys is dyin'. 

Yet we're still willin' and smilin'. 

So lets learn something new 

Not let the strings of the government 

Puppet master guide you. 

To A Dauohter I Never Had" 

Lil' Leeno do you even remember 

Who I am? Know I love you 

And think about you again and again. 

How you used to laugh in my 

Arms and lay in my lap. You and 

Your mommy were my world, if 

You can even picture that. We used 

To sleep together every night, 'til 

Life broke us apart. It hurt real 

Bad, but my life took a different path. 

You momma had to leave, I left 

Her with no choice. How could she 

Stay when the police came 

And took me away. I know you 

Two are doing good and I'm ayte. 

But I want you to know, you're the 

Daughter I never had and I pray 

For you every night. 

In If our heart t/o^ can overcome 
the street life 

What is a Soldier 

Does a soulja have to ride or die without any cares? 

Does he have to hit the block mean muggin' wit a glock? 

Why does he have to live the life of hard knock? 

What happened to independent thought, or believing 

In your heart you can overcome the street life 

With your smarts, why is it cool to gangbang and slang? 

How come you can only make a name on the 

Streets through the game? 

Why is the block so important that were willing 

To squeeze the glock without a second thought? 

How come we die for the government's property lot? 

How come soulja's have to hold down the hood? 

Why can't soulja's do something good? 

It's cool to be a soulja, no doubt, but I 

Gave enough for my boys, so I'm out. 


amam// • r/r/et/ 

'T¥L,B/7 nUXnnX nanr. ' 


The Folder 

Why do we have such troubled youth? 
What more do we need then the national proof. 
Our life and our culture is being stuck in a folder. 
Lost in our misconstrued ways, 
The hype we believe has led us astray. 
We used to believe in academical standards, 
Now were more concerned with prison life matters. 
Concealed hatred unmasked by the way we behave. 
Repeat offenders not looking for better days- 
Why don't we change the way we maintain? 
Glorified stories emphasize the game mind frame. 
Statistically inclined, but not the way we had in mind. 
That's why I say our life is in a folder. 
Murders, robberies, gangs, we're getting' bolder. 
Charts are poppin', prisons are hoppin', crime is not 
Yet were worried about how much slump we're knockin'. 
How much ice were rockin', how much cheese we stack 
and how many folks we tcix. 
I know, from the streets is where I get my facts. 
We need to relax, re-evaluate times past. 
Our culture is being lost to the government 
Statistical vulture. 
Now whose pockets are swoUer? 
That's why I say we're being put in a folder! 

Fairytale Dreams 

Pain and fear, ever present on a block 

With straps cocked. 

Look left or right, another homeboy might possibly die 


Trigger finger itchin', soon the pistol we'll 

Be ditchin'. 

Never think things through. 

Let it pop and another body drops. 

Too many catching cases. 

Lost in the criminal justice oasis. 

Sad story of my generation. 

Another life sentence increase our frustration. 

There's two sides to my suburban nation. 
The American dream or the dirty street scene. 

Violence plagues the one's lost. 

Did you ever think how many lives it'd cost? 

Fist fights, gun fights, stabbings and crashings. 

You laugh and think this is a joke? 

Watch out 'cause the blood could cause you to choke. 

Pools appear when neighborhood beefs reappear. 

Urban street blocks brought to suburban park spots. 

Not to many people from my spot get locked up. 

Sad but true, one stop shop, the streets is locked. 

Gotta have game sown tight, too many of us lost, right? 

Is there something we missed? 

Did society teach us this? 

An untold story of a suburban youth. 

Spilled to you by a young white man who 

Grew up in this dream or is it all fairytale schemes? 

Pain Of The Game 

We've spent too many years in the game. 

Is it worth all the pain for the fame? 

Where is the glory and honor today. 

What we fought so hard to obtain? 

Now it's a 6 by 10 cell we try to maintain. 

This is for me, some cats aren't so lucky 

And get put under six feet. 

Slangin', bangin' and reppin' the block. 

This is how we used to live to claim we're hard knocks. 

What did that achieve us in the end? 

A life of broken dreams and forced to leave 

Those street glory scenes. 

Got tooken out in a blaze of glory or those lights 

flashing warnings. 

This is how cats leave the game. 

This is where you earn your stripes of fame. 

The fame that lasts for what? 

It can't penetrate the coffin or cell block. 

It's gone in a blink of an eye, homeboy, 

I wish I was telling a lie. 

This is the fame that we tried to claim. 

The fame of the game that cost us our name. 


This Is how we used to live to claim 

we 're hard Knocks, 

What did that achieve us Iff the end? 

A life ofhroKen dreams 

atfd forced to leave 

Those street glorif scenes. 

I read of a iftan who stood to speak 

At the fm era I of a friend. 

tie referred to the dates on her toifihstOHe 

from the he^^i^g to the end. 

tie noted that first came the date of her hirth 

And spoke of the second with tears, 

Bnt he said that what mattered most of all 

Was the dash hetween those t/ears. 

for the dash represents all the time 

That she spent alive on earth 

And now onltf those who loved her 

Know what that little line Is worth. 

read the rest of Herbert Schwelgert's 3W0 piece on page 43